Can Your Marriage Be Saved? Separation Agreements: Don’t Rush To Divorce
If you are just beginning to question your marriage, one of the worst things that you can do is rush into a divorce. While many marital problems can seem insurmountable, sometimes taking a few steps back and evaluating the situation can help save your marriage. This is where separation agreements come in.
A separation agreement is an arrangement between a married couple separates, and usually they stop living together. These agreements can be legally binding, but some couples are in circumstances where an informal separation agreement will suffice. In addition to changing living arrangements, separation agreements can often include a plan on how to convey what is going on to friends and family, setting ground rules for dating other people, and plans for communication for a separated couple.
In addition to setting up new living arrangements and setting ground rules, separation agreements can also create an opportunity to work out child custody and visitation, property and debt issues, or other issues that may be important as you approach a divorce. Judges typically appreciate it when you can sort out as many of these issues as possible before coming to court. In many cases, these are simply precautionary steps, but it can be easier to settle these issues during this phase rather than during a formal divorce, as it takes up time in court and can be emotionally turbulent.
While preparing for worst case scenarios, separation agreements can also lead to positive resolutions. During many separations, couples agree to have sessions with a marriage counselor. This can be part of an overall strategy to try and repair a marriage before you take the final plunge into divorce. In addition to setting up ground rules for dating other people, you should have a plan for consequences for violating these rules. During a separation agreement, it’s absolutely crucial for a couple to be fair to each other if you want to salvage the marriage.
Ultimately, the separation agreement is a tool to take time to make your decision. Some separations are necessary to simply let a couple breathe for a short period of time, while others are there to smooth the process on the way to divorce. The most important thing is to communicate, be fair, and stick to your agreement. Although not all marriages can be saved, make sure to take the time to find out if yours is one that can be.