The first months of separation

What is the very first step? I have been separated just over a month and only have a verbal agreement regarding money to keep mortgage paid, kids (teens) fed, etc.

The first step would be to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in your area to discuss the best way to proceed with your case. The facts and circumstances are different in every case so it is hard to provide a generic answer to this question without more details. Ultimately your goal should be to work towards reaching an agreement on your property division, child custody, child support and (if relevant) spousal support issues. We provide a sample separation agreement on our website that you may find helpful. The sample gives you an idea of what would be included in an agreement, but it still would be beneficial to consult with an attorney to discuss the next steps.