A trial separation is not the same as a real separation or divorce, but it can be just as unpleasant and frightening for the spouse who does not want to separate. Living apart but preserving your marriage status allows you and your partner to honestly assess your concerns and issues without completely pulling the plug. Furthermore, it will enable you to comprehend the financial and emotional consequences of divorce while also allowing you to reverse your decision if it does not work out.
Though some trial separations end in divorce and can be extremely stressful for both parties, if you take the time to define and plan your separation, it may be precisely what your relationship requires. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare a trial separation to avoid too much emotional pain and relieve the concern of a non-initiating spouse.
Trial Separation Benefits
It goes without saying that there can be significant advantages of a Trial Separation. In particular, it gives the relationship time to breath. A Trial Separation might provide you with the time and space you need to address issues and return to your marriage as your best self.
Allows Big Issues to Become Small
Relationships in full swing have a massive degree of pull and push. At times, the balance can be outweighed and couples can become withdrawn. A Trial Separation gives a couple time to be introspective about what really matters.
It helps to avoid early divorce.
Divorce, like marriage, is not something you want to take lightly. A trial separation might help you take a step back and think things over before making a costly and life-altering choice.
The heart can grow fonder while away
You’ll be able to notice all the things your partner does that make you happy more clearly while you’re apart. Separation can make you appreciate your spouse even more.
It provides you and others with a taste of living on your own.
A trial separation is exactly what it sounds like: a separation practice run. You may determine whether you are codependent and ‘need’ your partner or actually desire them in your life by seeing how well you both perform while living apart.
Trial Separation Checklist
Couples and families are increasingly using trial separations to help them decide whether or not to continue their relationship. While living in the same house, couples can have their own area for a set length of time.
When is it appropriate to try a separation in the same house?
If you’re having issues in your relationship and/or getting your partner to understand how serious you are about the need for a change, a trial separation in the same residence might be a good method to get the other person to comprehend your goals. It should not be used as a tool of manipulation, and it should not be suggested rashly.
It can be a helpful transition for couples with children into any prospective changes in the family dynamic, such as one parent moving out. Parents can keep track of their children’s needs and reactions to the trial separation and gain a better knowledge of how separation might affect them and what each parent should do in the children’s best interests.
It can also be beneficial in times of stress when you are feeling overwhelmed by external causes such as a global epidemic, job security, living costs, and so on. This has been especially true in the last two years, as the global pandemic has taken a psychological, emotional, and physical toll on people. Having your own time may be all you require, or it may provide you with the necessary space to clear your mind and make the decision to go forwards with your life.
Have the logistics of how you think everything will work before proposing a trial separation with your partner in the same residence. Such as:
- Where will each of you sleep;
- how long will it last;
- how will finances be handled during this time;
- how will meals and food shopping be handled, and so on.
Get legal and financial advice
Understanding the legal and financial implications of a trial separation will help you avoid emotionally and financially costly mistakes. Consulting with legal and financial professionals can help you establish ground rules, identify legal issues, and avoid costly mistakes. Gaining knowledge will help you approach your divorce with confidence and direction.
Negotiate the mechanics of the separation with your spouse.
A trial separation presents its own set of practical issues and decisions. The more you and your husband can agree on ahead of time, the easier your divorce will be.
Consider the following:
- Who is leaving the marital residence?
- What will the moving-out spouse take, and how and when will they remove their belongings?
- When and how will the departing spouse gain access to the house?
- How will the new home be paid for and furnished?
Make a temporary parenting plan and agree to it.
Children frequently struggle to comprehend separation. It will be easier to adjust if you provide a sense of security, safety, and consistency. Consider:
- When and where will the kids see their respective parents?
- Where is the headquarters?
- What happens if a scheduling conflict arises? How will the cost of child care be handled?
- You may desire to travel with your children on holidays, vacations, and other events.
- What about the pets?
Establish a schedule
When critical decision-making expectations are specified ahead of time, anxiety and frustration might be reduced. When will the move take place, and how long will it take you to evaluate the separation’s productivity, three, six, nine, or twelve months? Setting a time limit gives the non-initiating spouse the assurance that the problem will not drag on indefinitely. Predetermined assessment dates will also aid in the accountability of the initiating spouse.
Maintain constructive communication.
A trial separation will reveal where you and your partner have communication issues. People who are going through a trial separation should try their utmost to keep all communication productive and focused on fixing problems. It’s not easy to keep emotions out of communication, but keeping your side of the street clean pays off in the end.
Need some information that relates to your circumstance?
Trial Separation Rules
If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the parameters of a trial separation in the same house, or if you have tried it and decided to separate, the next step is to get legal counsel from a family lawyer who can discuss your options for separation under one roof or other options.
If you finish your trial separation and determine that you’d rather be apart than together, consider the following:
Choosing to be polite to one another
You may or may not wish to be together in the future, but you must have open lines of communication in order to address issues and make decisions. Maintaining respect goes a long way and will seriously help get through any family law disputes efficiently and effectively. If you’re at this point, it’s likely that you will be able to resolve issues through mediation and not litigation.
Avoid making rash decisions.
Your circumstance isn’t going to alter overnight, so take your time and make informed decisions together.
From the start of the break-up, consult your Separation Checklist for suggestions and considerations of items to gather, accomplish, or act on. It will address topics like as finances, home, paperwork, and who you may need to notify.
Whether you want to engage in a trial separation and work on your relationship or you choose to leave the relationship after the trial separation, make sure it is a decision that you are truly pleased with.
A few last things!
While you don’t need to hire a lawyer to figure out how to live in different places for a while, having one on your side can help keep everything running smoothly. You’ll need to figure out finances, custody difficulties, and even physical possession of some assets, such as who is accountable for payments on your current house or apartment. When and with whom will the youngsters spend the most time? Is it necessary to assess child support? What about the pet in the family? A separation agreement will be required.
Don’t give up just yet if saving your marriage seems impossible. Instead, try out a trial separation. You might learn something in the process if you’re both just relieved to be away from each other.
If, on the other hand, you miss each other more than you expected, the time apart may be just what you need to keep you together for longer. Separations have often astonished partners with how much clarity they bring to a relationship, and you may learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before.
What Should You Do Now?
At Mediations Australia, our family lawyers and mediators work collaboratively in order for you and your former partner achieve the best results in the quickest amount of time and importantly, with the least amount of expense. We have a team of family lawyers and mediators who can assist you in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and all other locations in Australia. Get legal advice from us today!