Ending a long-term relationship means having to deal with the tricky questions of...
... whether or not to stay in touch
... whether or not to get legal advice
... managing your emotions
... supporting your children
I cover all of them in these articles.
Before you take any action though, be sure that you've had legal advice, if appropriate. Particularly if you've been living together, you're likely to have joint assets. If there's any chance that you might get into difficulties about that, make sure that you are aware of both your legal rights.
You'll find further info here: finding the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Money
Do you need to stay in touch with an ex when you're ending a relationship? What are your own expectations of how long you'd want to carry on seeing your ex-partner?
If you're hurting, and/or your marriage or relationship was full of conflict, stress and perhaps even abuse, you may be having a hard time deciding what is best.
How long you need to stay in touch and the quality of contact depends on a number of factors.
It speaks for itself that if you have children, you need to be prepared to be parents together for the rest of your life. (And incidentally - any future partners will need to know that you come 'as a package'). If your children are still young, clearly there's likely to be regular contact to ensure that their needs are met.
Of course it's very likely that you and/or your partner are going to be emotional at the end of a relationship. It is expected, though, that you'll experience a different mix of emotions. Much of it depends on how your relationship ended.
However, I have some advice for you that may save you heartache and money.
Just remember that what you blurt out when you're distressed, obsessed, hurt and/or angry could cost you dearly during a divorce process. You may just be adding to your lawyer's bill...
And if you have children, then your emotions will affect their stress levels too...
If you're ending a relationship with children involved, I have more information for you on other pages. There are links just a little further down this page for you.
However, just for now, I'm sure you're already aware that it doesn't matter to your children if you're married or cohabiting. It really does matter if and how you end your relationship or marriage.
A separation will without doubt hurt your children - but how much and for how long depends on you and your partner. I know that deep down you didn't expect me to say anything else.
Each of them (if you have more then one) will hurt in a different way - depending on their age, their relationship with you and your partner and your relationship history.
How you end your long term relationship - your and your partner's behaviour - is going to make a huge difference. So, please do all you can to create a good ending. Try not to add to whatever conflict there may already be and expose your kids to further damaging rows.
Be sure to get the right legal advice with reference to your children. Remember though, that unless there is violence or abuse, your children need you both.