How to Make a Marital Separation Agreement That is Healthy for your Relationship
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How to Make a Marital Separation Agreement That is Healthy for your Relationship

According to this survey published by the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, more than 50 percent of spouses that are separated believe that staying apart is an effective option for resolving their family issues and rebuilding a healthy relationship.


Couples can go through 2 different types of separation: A trial or informal separation or a legal separation that is completed according to a specific court procedure.


For those who are considering either type of separation and want to reach an agreement that works for everyone in their family, the answers to the following questions can provide more clarity.



Table of Contents

(click on a question to be directed quickly)

What is a Marital Separation or Healing Separation?
Why do couples choose to do a separation?
What are the goals of a Healing Separation?
How does a separation affect children?
Should we go to couples counseling to help us make a Separation Agreement?
Should we do a separation or just divorce?







What Is a Marital Separation or Healing Separation?


The legal resource LegalMatch explains that a marital separation occurs when a couple decides they want to legally separate and live apart, often while considering a divorce.


During this period, both partners also have a distinct goal of working on their personal growth and rebuilding a loving relationship.


It’s important to understand that not all separations are formal legal processes. Many couples do informal separations. This means that they decide to live apart from each other, for a period of time, to help create some distance. They use this distance to give themselves time to think about the future of the marriage.


Some also refer to this period as a “healing separation” or therapeutic separation. A healing separation is a specific period during which a couple separates and lives apart while working on their relationship.




Why Do Couples Choose to Do a Separation?


There are several reasons why a couple might choose a separation instead of jumping straight to a divorce, including the following:


  • Healing from a severe injury to their relationship (infidelity, addictions, abuse, etc.)
  • They want to see if they can work things out and need time to think and process
  • They are working with a Couples Counselor who is suggesting one
  • Religious beliefs
  • Tax issues and other financial challenges
  • Concerns about their children’s mental and emotional health
  • Disagreements regarding asset separation, dependent custody, child support, etc.


For couples who need more time working through these obstacles, legal separation provides clear boundaries during this process. It also establishes responsibilities that both partners must meet.


My spouse wants a separation

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