4 Key Factors To Discuss Before A Trial Separation
Deciding to separate from your partner is never an easy decision to make. You’ve spent a long time on your marriage, and now you’re at a point where there’s a lack of understanding between you both. Being in a relationship with poor communication adds weight to marriages, especially those with large families.
A toxic marital environment can be harmful to both spouses and their children. Is a trial separation between couples worth discussing to possibly resolve these differences?
A Philadelphia divorce lawyer notes that there are four key factors to consider beforehand. There are various important aspects to think about before a trial separation. Couples should discuss these factors before taking the next step towards a possible divorce
1. Set Trial Separation Boundaries
While marriage is about committing to being together, a trial separation requires time apart. This changes the living situation for both parties. It’s important not to let emotions get in the way when deciding on what a trial separation will entail for both of you.
It’s essential to determine the proper boundaries for you both. This means aspects such as whether you will allow dating, how you share your joint bank accounts, and how you will deal with any other financial commitments you share as a couple. If you have children, you’ll need to have a serious discussion about when and how you share your time with them. You need to let your children know how the separation will affect them.
These are never easy conversations to have. However, if you’re looking into a trial separation, these are crucial points to address with ongoing open communication. It is important to think about how you and your partner will spend your time apart from one another. Your children are your highest priority!
2. Determine Your Living Situations
In most scenarios, having a trial separation includes having separate housing situations for both of you. Make sure that both spouses understand the visitation terms to the marital home. You also need to determine how you’ll be paying for the second housing unit for the spouse who will be living in it.
In some instances, you may agree to both live in the same living space during a trial separation. This can be the case if there are financial problems or other issues. If this is the situation, make sure that you both understand and respect the very clear privacy guidelines.
Separation is about having a degree of solitude and examining the differences that led you to this scenario. Figuring out how you will both live apart and what your specific living situations will be, is an essential step in the trial separation planning process.
3. Establish a Clear Time Frame
A trial separation requires clear understanding and communication. You’ll want to establish a specific time frame for how long you’ll be spending apart from your spouse. These can often be periods ranging from three months to six months, to a year or longer.
Since many separations end in divorce, the longer a trial separation runs, the greater the chance that this new scenario will become a long-term lifestyle for both spouses as they both become accustomed to it. Establish a schedule that both of you can agree to during this time that matches both of your needs.
4. Work on Co-parenting
Since both spouses will want to spend time with their children, it is crucial to address the role of co-parenting. It is so important that both parents take part in their children’s schooling, activities, and overall raising, from their separate living situations. To be fully beneficial and less disruptive for each child, parents will need to put aside their individual conflicts with each other.
This means that arguing about finances, separation periods, or other issues in front of your children will have an extremely negative effect. It’s more important to focus on aspects that relate to your children’s upbringing. Healthcare, education, and transportation are all fundamental topics that need discussion, especially in a new environment when both of you live apart.
This type of co-parenting is a new scenario that both spouses may need time to adjust to. However, with work and effort, you both can use the skill of co-parenting to make sure that your kids don’t miss out on the attention they need during a trial separation.
Any separation will be an adjustment and a new scenario for both spouses. However, it’s important to remember that a trial separation is a process that a couple can feel out before deciding to make this something more permanent. Using these four key factors can help couples plan ahead if they’re thinking about having a trial separation.
Guest Post: About the Author
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She frequently works with and writes on behalf of Lee A. Schwartz, a busy Philadelphia divorce lawyer.
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