Marriage Separation 101: The Dos And Dont's Of Marriage Separation

Couples in a conflict may result to a marriage separation to save their marriage. However, certain rules must be adhered to for it to work. Find out more.

By Dagmar Thomson
Marriage Separation 101: The Dos And Dont's Of Marriage Separation

Marriage Separation 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Marriage Separation

Marriage separation is the process where a married couple decides to live apart while they are still married. When a married couple separates, it is usually a huge flag that divorce will be the next course of action. However, people should not view separation as if it is the end of a marriage. There are times when a married couple needs to sort out the problems affecting their marriage or they just need time apart from each other. If they are not able to solve their problems during the separation period, then they can consider having a divorce. Marriage separation has its own dos and don'ts. Many people do not take separation very seriously. Therefore, they do not take the time to understand the rules of separation. No matter how bad your marriage is, you and your partner should handle separation in the right way. Marriage separation is the time that will decide if you can save your marriage or get a divorce. Here are some dos and don'ts of marriage separation that will help you during that period.

1. Do Not Move Out During Marriage Separation

Moving out of the house during marriage separation is the worst thing you could ever do. Moving out of the house means you will not get equal time to spend with your children if you have any. It will also reduce the chances of ever getting your belongings back. It means that you are not ready to work on saving your marriage. You might have heard of stories about married couples who separate, live in different houses, and take the time to co-parent their children. You should know that those are just stories that are made up for Hollywood movies. It rarely happens in real life. If you decide to divorce and go before a judge, you will look like the person who gave up on the marriage and children because you moved out. You will lose everything in the divorce agreement because the judge will side with your partner. If you are thinking of moving out during the process of marriage separation, then you need to consult a lawyer. He or she will advise you on the rights you have and the step to take. You can move out of your house if you do not feel safe staying there and you have the evidence to prove that. If that is the case then everyone will support you in your decision.

2. Do Not Make It Public

Avoid telling everyone that you are getting a marriage separation. People will tend to give you guidelines and advice on how to go about the separation as their way of giving support. Most of the time, the guidelines are wrong and they will misguide you. Telling people about your marriage separation will make some people ask you for information concerning the process. The information will be contorted as it is passed from one person to the other. In the end, it will reach your partner and disrupt the process of trying to iron out your differences. This can lead to divorce instead of leading to an agreement.

3. Maintain the Status Quo

This is one of the guidelines that people tend to forget when they are going through marriage separation. You should always maintain the status quo despite being separated. If you were responsible for a certain bill, continue paying it since you are still married. Do not create more problems by failing to maintain the status quo. This will make any forms of reconciliation to go down the drain. You should remember that you both have rights. If you were to end up divorcing, the judge will not take kindly to the partner who creates financial problems for the other partner. The status quo also extends to the children. You should both spend equal time with them and support them during this difficult process of separation.

4. Go for Counseling

Separation from marriage is a difficult process that can be life-changing. Counseling is one of the guidelines that is recommended. You can even go for counseling before you take the step of marriage separation. This will help you and your partner know if your marriage is broken. Going for counseling during a marriage separation is a good idea that requires consent by both parties. Counseling will support you and give you guidelines on how to save your marriage. It will also let you know if the marriage is over and come to an agreement if divorce is the next step.

5. Ensure There Is Communication

Separation in a marriage can cause anger, hostility, and blame between married couples. These things can cause communication to be broken down between the couple. Ensure that you can communicate openly and peacefully during the marriage separation period. This is very helpful for couples who want to reconcile and solve the problems in their marriage. Open communication will ensure that the couple comes to an agreement on the way forward. Avoiding communication can cause more problems and this can lead to a divorce.

6. Do Not Harass Your Partner

Marriage separation can be very frustrating to the parties involved. You should avoid things that will make the situation even worse. If you and your partner do not come to an agreement concerning the separation, do not harass your partner. Do not make your partner's life difficult by harassing him or her on social media or through texts. Never forget that you both have rights. Your partner can use the texts to take you to court for infringing on his or her rights. Harassment will only cause problems and prevent reconciliation from happening. It will even cause your marriage separation to end up in divorce.

7. Do Not Disrupt the Finances

During the marriage separation period, avoid disrupting the finances especially if you have a joint account. Do not withdraw any money from the account unless it was a decision from the both of you. You will be required to show where the money went and this will cause a rift during the separation period. You should also not give out or sell any asset you both own, like a car or a house, without the consent of your partner. This will prevent the two of you from getting back together after the marriage separation. It will even get you in trouble if your partner decides to divorce and take you to court. If you have valuable things like jewelry and you think that your partner wants to sell, hide, or destroy them, then keep them in a safe place where he or she cannot find them.

8. Collect Your Documents

Separation from marriage is the time when you should ensure that your assets and finances are in order because it could end in divorce instead of reconciliation. Collect all the documents you have, like bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage statements, car insurance, life insurance, tax returns, retirement statements, trusts, and wills. This will help to make the divorce process smooth if the marriage separation comes to that point.

9. Create Healthy Boundaries

One of the guidelines to follow during separation from marriage is to set healthy boundaries. This can be done by deciding how to co-exist during the separation and how to explain it to the children if you have any. This will help you to find a solution to your problems and if you both agree to a divorce, then it will be smooth and amicable. In case you both decide to stay in the marriage, then you will both know how to treat each other and not cross one another’s boundaries.

10. Accept the Situation

During a marriage separation, it is important for you to accept that you are in that situation. It will make it easy for you to accept the outcome of the separation if you get divorced or stay in the marriage. It will be hard at first but in the end, your emotions and mind will be ready for anything.

11. Do Not Speak Ill of Your Partner

Badmouthing your partner during a marriage separation is never a good idea. Whenever you talk ill about your partner to your friends or family, it is always bound to come back to him or her. Your friends and family can even start to disrespect your partner, which will affect him or her. This will prevent any future plans of making the marriage work fail. It will create a lot of tension that will make divorce difficult to endure.

12. Do Not Have Sex with Your Partner

During marriage separation, you should avoid all situations that can lead to you and your partner having sex. Separation from marriage means that the two of you are not on good terms. Having sex during that period will cause more complications to the situation. First, solve the problems that are causing the marriage separation. If it all works out, then you can both proceed and have sex.

13. Get a Good Lawyer

It is important to have a good lawyer during a marriage separation. The lawyer will give you guidelines on what you need to do and know during that period. It is also good to have a lawyer in case the reconciliation ends in divorce. The lawyer will have been with you during the marriage separation period and will guide you on how to proceed.

14. Do Not Date Other People

Marriage separation is a time when you and your partner are required to figure out what you both need in the marriage. It is not the time for you or your partner to start dating other people. This will greatly reduce the chances of fixing the marriage. It will even make you look bad before the judge if you both end up divorcing. Take the time during the marriage separation to fix your problems and try to figure a way out.

15. Do Not Prolong the Separation

Marriage separation should not take a long time. It is supposed to be a short period where you and your partner look for a way forward. There are couples who stay separated for years, which is not healthy. Instead of staying in denial, just get a divorce if the marriage cannot be fixed. This is better for both parties and even the children involved. Marriage separation is not something any married couple wants to go through. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, know what to do and remember that you have rights. If you cannot save your marriage, do not stay in separation. Get a divorce and move in with your life. It will be a good turning point for you and everyone involved.

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