Trial Separation: The First Step To Divorce?


Trial separation is a common step that many couples take when they begin to encounter problems in their relationship and start to consider the idea of divorce. Rather than rushing directly into a divorce, sometimes a legal separation or a trial separation may be suggested in order to give the couple some time apart to carefully consider their next step.

Even with the use of separation, there is still no easy answer about when to get divorced. This is something that only the couple can decide for themselves. In some cases, separation can help a couple to resolve their differences and avoid divorce, in other cases it only makes their differences that much more prominent and it ends in the final dissolution of the marriage.

As its name suggests, trial separation is when a couple decides on their own to try spending time apart without actually divorcing. Generally, couples enter into separation with various ground rules involving living arrangements, visitation if children are involved, financial arrangements and the mutual agreement to enter into some sort of counseling.

While counseling is not a mandatory part of the process, for a couple deciding when to get divorced, it can be extremely helpful. Often, in cases of separation, the end goal is ultimately to reconcile. This may not be possible without a trained professional helping the couple to work through their differences and come to a mutual understanding. Even if divorce is the eventual end result, counseling can help to make the process easier on everyone involved.

Of course trial separation can have its pros and cons. Often, when a couple takes time away from each other each partner is then able to come up for air and focus on the personal issues that may have been taking a back seat within the marriage. Relieving pressure in this way can then help the partners to come together and see each other’s side of the argument more clearly.

Then too, there is the old saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. If you are considering when to get divorced, this can be one of the biggest indicators. If you find yourself missing your partner during the separation period, then perhaps divorce isn’t the answer. If, however, you are enjoying your time apart and don’t feel any need to get back together then perhaps it is time to end the marriage for good.

Before considering trial separation, however, it is important to remember that this process can be just as difficult and stressful as divorce itself, particularly if children are involved. In fact, it can be more difficult for children to understand the idea of mom and dad still being married but being apart. This is never something that you should undertake lightly; it should only be considered if absolutely necessary.

No matter what you opt to do, the ultimate decision to end your marriage in divorce cannot be answered by anyone else. You and your partner need to come to that conclusion and you should be very sure of your choice before you make it. And if you do decide to go that route then you should make every effort to keep it as peaceful and positive an experience as possible, for the good of everyone involved.

The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions

Posted in Amicable Divorce and Conflict Resolution, Divorce Support and tagged , , .

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