Let’s face it, marriage is not always easy, and the idea of divorce can feel scary and overwhelming. If you are going through a rough marriage patch, you may consider a trial separation before filing for a California divorce.
A trial separation may be a great solution if you and your spouse agree on a timeline, make your intentions and expectations clear, and understand the rules you will both follow during your time apart.
A trial separation is a personal choice; you must decide if it is a good fit for your marriage. This article will discuss trial separations and the benefits for you and your marriage.
Defining A Trial Separation
When a couple chooses to take space from each other instead of going straight to filing for divorce, it is a trial separation. Often when a couple decides to have a trial separation, one party will leave home altogether.
For those who can’t afford this, the best option is for one spouse to move into a spare bedroom.
It is best that a trial separation isn’t a divorce or even a legal separation and doesn’t have a legal impact on your marriage or property rights. This means that all money earned during your trial separation or acquired property will still be divided according to the state’s property laws if you later divorce.
Benefits Of A Trial Separation
Every marriage is unique, and the benefits of a trial separation may vary from couple to couple. Some expected benefits people experience during a trial separation include the following:
- You Get Time To Clear Your Head. Sometimes you just need space to clear your mind, and a trial separation allows you to work towards creating reconciliation and work through your marital issues with personal space. You may recognize that you are worried about something else, such as money, instead of what your partner doesn’t do or says. It is essential to take time to identify the real issues in your marriage so that you can work on them.
- Make An Informed Decision. Getting a divorce is a big decision, and it is critical to avoid filing for a divorce prematurely. When you enter a trial separation, you and your partner can decide if your marital issues are repairable or if you need to file for divorce.
- Get A Fresh Look. Taking space allows both parties to work through personal issues that could indirectly interfere with your marriage. You may find that friends, family, or a therapist can help give you a fresh look at your marital issues.
- Get A Taste Of Reality. It allows both parties to feel what it would be like to live apart, from taking care of chores and paying bills or experiencing your social life without your spouse.
- Opportunity To Grow. A trial separation allows you to gather your feelings and thoughts and improve your communication skills before filing for divorce. It also allows you to identify skills you can improve on, such as household chores, communicating, and caring for children if you have any, and you may come to appreciate your partner more. If you are in an abusive or unhealthy marriage, you may find life easier on your own.
- You Are Improving Your Perspective. When you and your spouse are always together, it can become a habit only to notice the faults or things that bother you. Spending time apart helps you rediscover the parts of your marriage and your spouse that you appreciate. On the other hand, you could also realize that behaviors or issues that you think are normal are cruel, unsafe, or unhealthy and that you are better off apart.
Create A Trial Separation Agreement
Both parties must be on the same page regarding the timeline, rules, and overall goals for resolving marital issues during your trial separation. Depending on your situation, you need to decide whether you need a written agreement. A written agreement will identify your separation date if your marriage ends in divorce. Generally, it is better to have an agreement in writing.
Is A Trial Separation Right For You and Your Spouse?
There’s no crystal ball to know; however, some common indicators help determine if a trial separation may benefit you and your spouse.
- The challenges in your marriage are situational tarter than deeply rooted issues
- Your love for each other remains intact, but you are feeling overwhelmed by your marital issues
- You trust each other when it comes to financial issues and your children, and there has been no significant breach of trust
If you are experiencing domestic violence, emotional abuse, serial infidelity, or ongoing substance abuse issues, then a trial separation may not be the best solution for you.
Family law is complicated, and it is vital to consider all the issues included, such as child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, spousal support, division of property, and more. Choosing the right divorce lawyer is your first step if you file for divorce in California to help ensure you avoid making big mistakes.
Hire An Expert Divorce Attorney
At Azemika & Azemika, we devote our practice exclusively to family law. Our attorneys are highly skilled and have extensive experience navigating California divorce laws, child support and visitations, adoption, paternity, and more. Whether you are considering a trial separation or a divorce hiring an attorney to help support you during this challenging time will make it significantly less stressful and ensure that your family, your rights, and your assets are protected. Contact us today for a consultation!