Many married couples decide on a trial separation instead of going directly for divorce. That’s a wonderful idea because splitting up doesn’t necessarily means preparing for divorce, but more like “Do I really want a divorce”. So how to get a separation?
You can file for a separation just like you file for a divorce. You fill a separation petition that you send in the court. This gives you the freedom to live apart, but still be officially married.
The reason for filing a separation petition can be the same as for divorce. Cheating, abuse etc. If you’re having trouble or find it difficult, a lawyer will do this for you very fast.
The best way to separate from your spouse is by mutual agreement. If the reason for the separation is strong enough, you should talk to your partner about it and find a solution for the situation together.
A reasonable person will understand the situation and will cooperate with you to find the best way and the easiest way of handling the splitting up. However, if your partner doesn’t like the idea and is trying to convince you for something else, remember that the separation is something you have right to do.
Try to make an agreement, but don’t back down if that’s impossible.
Separation process: 5 important steps
1. Check how the law works
The law is different in different states, so check what needs to be done for the separation to be legal. Some documents are essential, others not so much, but be sure that you don’t miss something important.
2. Talk to your partner about your intentions
It doesn’t matter if your partner approves of this move or not, he or she needs to know what you’re about to do. It is best both morally and legally. A separation is good for keeping the marriage alive, so try to convince your partner to be a part of your life at least in some way.
3. Set the rules
It is best to set some rules on your separation, together with your partner. The split up doesn’t have to be forever, keep that in mind, so it’s best to set a date on which you’ll try to get back together.
Rules about seeing, listening, kids custody, house, and cars usage also need to be discussed. Some topics might be hard to handle, like seeing other people but it’s best for the both to play with open cards than later be angry about things that happened and one of the partners didn’t like them.
4. Don’t miss schedules with your therapist
The best option is to see the therapist together with your separated partner if you still have faith in restoring your marital relationship. However, if you have other plans, it is still good to have a batch of sessions by yourself because counseling is good for your health and coping with the separation is not easy for anyone.
5. Remember you’re still married
The law is strict, so don’t forget that you’re still married and you need to respect what you agreed in court. Have some time alone to think about the separation and give one last thought about doing it. If there is no other way, look up for pros and cons about the legal separation and if the answer is still YES, simply be brave and go ahead.