A marriage dissolves only after a divorce is final. However, there are instances when a couple may choose not to reside together as a married couple. In such cases, the finances, assets, and debts are divided among the couple along with the custody of the child, and the two individuals can begin living separate lives. This is called a legal marriage separation. It is also required in cases where the couple is seeking a divorce. Many states require that a couple legally separate before getting divorced, and hence, the concerned papers will have to be drawn from the court.
Usually, the marriage separation agreement is drawn after many discussions and negotiations regarding the division of assets, liabilities, the support, maintenance, custody, and visitation issues of the children. All terms and conditions have to be clearly mentioned in the document. It is usually recommended that an attorney be hired to draft an agreement that will need all your requirements. You can find plenty of sample agreements on the internet. This document has to be duly attested by the couple and two witnesses. Such agreements are very beneficial in saving money during a divorce. In a contested divorce, i.e., a divorce without an agreement, the costs can go into thousands of dollars in attorney fees, court costs, filing fees, etc., which in turn can cause a lot of stress and emotional strain. In an uncontested divorce, the separation document is ready, which already contains information regarding the alimony, child custody and support, and property division. Hence, the cost of the divorce is far less and is also very quick.
This arrangement is usually seen as a preamble to divorce. But, it has been observed in many cases that when a couple spends some time apart, it gives them an opportunity to think and reevaluate their need for a divorce. There have been many instances when the couple has decided to give their marriage another chance.
Marriage is a powerful institution, and every couple must make every effort to ensure that it brings them every joy that it promises to bring. However, people grow and change over a period of time, and it may so happen that the two people who promised to spend their lives together now find it difficult to live under the same roof. Divorce is now not the only way out. There are many kinds of help available these days like counseling and a separation.
This process is one step away from a divorce, and a couple must evaluate their reasons very thoroughly before deciding to separate. One of the most prominent guideline to follow when deciding if it is the right option for you is that, your reasons for it must be almost the same as your spouse. Once this is decided, there are some rules that you must follow during the tenure.
- Set a tentative duration of how long to remain separated, for example three months. At the end of this duration, both of you can evaluate your options and feelings and carry forward from there.
- Both the members must agree to individual and joint counseling during the period. This will give a chance to each of you to work out your individual feelings and also work out your issues together as a couple.
- If you and your spouse really want to give your relationship another chance, then both of you must agree not to date anybody else during that period.
To conclude, the system is doing everything in its power to ensure that the rate of divorce goes down. It is very unfortunate when the statistics show that one in every two marital bonds is headed towards a divorce. The aforementioned arrangement helps the couple live separate lives but still remain married, giving them ample opportunity to work out their differences, no matter how long it takes. Every individual must use this golden opportunity and give love another chance.