Trial separation refers to an informal agreement between you and your significant other on a defined length of time that you both will separate for. Multiple important things have to be discussed between a couple that is going for a trial separation. Moreover, both you and your significant other need to discuss and set boundaries that each of you would be following a trial separation. These boundaries may include who will keep the children, scheduling meetings with children, how will the property be divided, how often will you communicate, and other such questions.
After the trial separation, a couple can decide as to whether they want to reconcile or end their marriage through the legal proceedings of a divorce. During or just prior to getting into deciding on a trial separation, you need to make a trial separation checklist. This checklist would include what you need to do during your trial separation, how things will go about, what the immediate decisions will be that would have to be taken.
A trial separation checklist can be divided into 3 stages. These include:
Stage 1 – Gathering data
- Share your plans with either 1 or 2 close friends or your close family. This is crucial for safety and emotional support. Also, if you decide on leaving the house, where will you be staying; with a friend or with your family or on your own?
- Moreover, write down what you are expecting out of this separation decision. Do you think that things will work out or will it end in a divorce? Remember, you also shouldn’t expect too much!
- Now that you will be separated, how will you manage your finances? Will your current job be enough? Or if you are not working, you might want to think about getting a job.
- During a trial separation, certain boundaries are set and one of the questions in trial boundaries is how the property will be divided which also includes the division of household items like dishes. Write down these items and evaluate what you will need and what not.
- Also see what services you co-own with your partner and if you want to disconnect them, like Internet packages.
- Include a list of all your marriage documents and financial documents and keep them with you along with their copies. You might need them at some point.
Stage 2: Planning the basics
- If you have decided to go for a trial separation, make a script as to what you will be saying to your significant other. Do not use a harsh tone as it will only make things worse. Instead, opt for a simple, gentle tone and talk openly about why you think you both should take time off for a bit of “cooling.”
- Make a list as to what aspects of the marriage made you happy and what went wrong. Do you really love the other person and care for them? List all these factors and during the trial separation, think carefully and evaluate these factors. It will help immensely.
- During a discussion, ask your significant other what they expect the outcome of this separation to be and what general expectations they have. Take those into account as well.
- Open a separate bank account and separate your finances for the time being. This would lead to minimal contact and dispute regarding finances between you and your spouse during the separation period.
Stage 3: Informing your spouse
- Inform your partner at a time when you both are alone at home. Choose a calm time. Sit with your spouse and discuss what is happening and why you are opting for this way. Discuss your expectations.
- Mutually, you both can go for marriage counseling. This may help you both realize new things. When breaking the news to your significant other, gently do so. The script that you might have prepared show it to your spouse and discuss it with them. Take their input as well.
- Lastly, bear in mind the fact that after you two have decided to go for a trial separation, you have to separate as lingering on in the same house immediately may damage your relationship more than it already is. Immediate separation also entails that you do not get into unnecessary disputes and fights which would only rock your relationship more instead of mending it.
Wrapping it up
Conclusively, creating a checklist prior to the separation between you and your significant other is crucial. However, bear in mind the fact that this is a general checklist during a trial separation which couples follow. It is not one which all couples may adopt, or it may not even work for you and your significant other.