When a married couple finds themselves frequently arguing, facing the repercussions of an affair, or simply falling out of love, they may decide to try a trial separation. The hope is that by spending some time apart, the couple will be in a better position to decide what to do next.
Divorce is a huge decision and not one that should be taken lightly. By living separately temporarily, the spouses may have the space they need to figure out whether divorce is the right step.
When it comes to trial separations, results vary. Some separations end with both parties realizing how much they love each other and wish to remain married. Other times, trial separations end with divorce papers. If you are thinking about a trial separation, make sure to consider the following.
Separation and Legal Separation Are Two Completely Different Things
Sometimes, people use the word “separation” to mean the same thing as “legal separation.” However, living separately is not the same thing as being legally separated. For example, consider a couple who separates because of an affair. The husband moves in with a family member temporarily and the wife stays in the marital home. During their time apart, the husband racks up enormous debts. Because the couple was still married and not legally separated, this likely to be considered joint debt that both parties are responsible for. If the couple was legally separated, the debt would be solely the husband’s responsibility. When a couple is legally separated, they are bound by decisions regarding property, debt, child custody, child support, and other matters. A legal separation provides essential financial and legal protection to spouses who wish to live separately.
There Are Pros and Cons to a Trial Separation
The old adage says that absence makes the heart grow fonder. While this may sometimes be true, there are certainly disadvantages to a trial separation as well. For example, you and your spouse may now have double the number of financial obligations that you had when living together. Can you afford two rent payments or two electricity bills? It is also crucial to consider how the separation will affect your children. Will your kids be mature enough to understand what is going on and cope with the situation appropriately?
On the other hand, if you have tried everything else to save your marriage, you may have nothing to lose. Sometimes, when spouses spend some time apart, they rekindle their affection for each other. They have a chance to cool down and process difficult emotions. Spouses may even use this time to attend counseling or work on their own issues so they can reenter the marriage in a better place mentally.
Contact our Palatine Separation and Divorce Lawyer
If you are ready to explore your options, contact our Arlington Heights divorce attorney to get the legal guidance you need. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 and set up a free consultation.