If you break up with your spouse or partner, the natural tendency will be to do nothing at least until the initial shock wears off.
Doing nothing could be the worst thing you do especially if you have children.
Regardless of the impact of the separation on you, you and hopefully your spouse or partner will want to do everything possible to minimize the impact on your kids and promote a sense of stability and security for them. Create a plan for their care and try to get agreement on it.
If your plan means the children will live with you, be aware that allowing them to stay for any significant overnight time with the other spouse or partner could create a status quo regarding custody in that person’s favour which you may have trouble overcoming later.
If you are going to need financial support from your spouse or partner after a separation, don’t procrastinate in trying to get it voluntarily from the other spouse or partner. If you do in the hope of an agreement and nothing is forthcoming, the family law Court system is structured in such a way that, once you start a Court case, you must wait several months at a minimum to be able to go into Court to ask for a temporary support order. Don’t wait to get started.
Once a separation has taken place, try to accumulate for negotiation with your spouse or partner or for a Court case, if one is required, financial documents such as your last three years’ income tax returns and notices of assessment, pay statements, statements re investments and RRSPs, loan statements, credit card statements, etc. to make your lawyer’s job easier.