First Steps After Separating From Your Spouse

Learn what steps you should first take to get through a divorce or legal separation as successfully and amicably as possible.

Embrace Change

Going through divorce or legal separation is challenging. If you have recently separated from your partner, chances are that you have no idea how often you will be able to see your children and how much time you can spend with them. You need to set new boundaries, gain stability and clearly define co‑parenting responsibilities.

To be able to negotiate an optimum parenting agreement, first you need to find out what is best for you and your children in the long term. It is a common mistake to jump to conclusions about what you want or can provide before you have all the information.

Many times your favorite option on day 1 is not the best option when you get to know all the details of your preferred custody schedule, realize the actual costs of raising your children, and explore all available divorce options.

What are the recommended actions?
  1. Start documenting your parenting efforts
  2. Build a support team
  3. Establish a preliminary custody schedule
  4. Take control of your divorce process

Start Documenting Your Child Raising Efforts

It can take months, sometimes even years, to get a divorce and reach a fair child custody agreement. Divorcing parents who do not systematically document their parenting efforts and do not regularly collect and organize evidence will inevitably face the negative consequences of doing so.

You can use traditional tools to capture all important facts and figures, for example: use a regular calendar to track visitations and calls, keep a spreadsheet file with all significant expenses.

If you choose to use Alimentor to record your parenting activities, you will enjoy the benefits of using a dedicated tool, optimized to help parents going through divorce to keep written documentation.

What should you log?
  • Parenting time (visitations)
  • Parent‑child calls
  • Important events (health, school...)
  • Expenses
  • Communication (parenting arrangements)

Custody Calendar App

In each Alimentor record you can store:
  • Scheduled dates and times (if applicable)
  • Actual dates and times
  • Notes
  • Photos and scanned receipts
  • Documents in PDF format

Every few weeks, read what you have collected and decide if there are any irrelevant records that you need to delete. Check that your notes contain all important facts and can be understood by others who are not directly involved in your divorce case such as a mediator, lawyer or judge.

Learn how to collect documentation in child custody cases ▶

Build Your Support Team

Build a support team that can include your family, friends, divorce mediator, attorney, etc.

When asking for advice, use Alimentor to explain your situation and refer to specific events and documents.

You can share your Alimentor records with others in three ways:

  • Generate detailed PDF reports containing a range of data tailored to your specific needs such as: visitation calendar, expenses and reimbursements.
  • Export all records to a spreadsheet file. Use it to prepare case specific calculations and create charts.
  • Share your entire database with other Alimentor users to provide them with instant readonly access to your records, including your visitation schedule, memos, expenses, etc.

Share Records With Your Ex

Sharing detailed information about parenting activities with the other parent regularly is always the best practice. It may encourage a more co‑operative approach.

Ask the other parent to install Alimentor and then share your records with him or her, or regularly send reports in PDF format.

Establish Preliminary Custody Schedule

Routine and repetition is a good way to create a sense of safety. Even if the larger stuff seems hard to pin down at the beginning of your divorce process, try to agree on how you can temporarily divide parenting time and the costs of raising your children using the information you have collected so far.

Custody Log Records

Start by scheduling visits for the next few weeks. You do not need to create recurring events at this point if you think it is not yet possible to follow a fully regular schedule.

Learn how to plan your time with kids ▶

Take Control of Your Divorce Process

Do research on available options in divorce proceedings. There are many process options, including mediation, collaborative law and litigation. Learn about all of them, then choose the path that is going to work best for you.

Custody Report with Best Interest Factors

Read Alimentor usage tips to learn how to effectively use the application right from the start.