When a person tries to transition from separation to divorce, there are a number of challenges that would have to be faced – emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s not just about the impact that it could have on both parties. There are so many other people and things involved, like children, assets, friendships and more.
The high percentage of married couples going through the transition from separation to divorce is a sad reality. Based on the reports of the National Survey of Family Growth:
So, when does one deal with the leap from separation to divorce? Before you even consider a transition, it is important to legally define the difference between the two.
A physical separation is when a married couple lives separately but there’s no legal agreement about the arrangement. A trial separation is a time when a husband and wife decide to live separately to assess if continuing the relationship is better or otherwise.
Legal separation is when a married couple lives separately and has a written agreement or court order form to validate the agreement. When relevant, the legal separation also addresses:
Even with a formal agreement, a legally separated couple is still husband and wife until the marriage is dissolved. Legal separation is not recognized by all US states.
Divorce is the dissolution of marriage. It is a legal proceeding typically preceded by a judge to legally and formally terminate a union. A divorce process also addresses:
Divorce laws and proceedings vary from state to state. Some states require a trial separation or therapy before terminating a marriage. But all US states permit a “no fault” divorce.
Any breakup is bad. The process of moving from separation to divorce is usually a brutal phase because it has outcomes and consequences that can last a lifetime. When a husband and wife are separated, they must assess the following before taking the huge step of dissolving their marriage.
A large number of people who say they want a divorce still harbor intense feelings for their spouse. This is why the process is difficult. Most couples divorce because when a problem or a power struggle occurs, intimacy and true communication take the backseat. The separation is a good time to filter knee-jerk reactions from genuine emotions.
No law or vow prohibits a married person to grow and sometimes change. Both are a natural progression in a person’s life. Some couples decide to get a divorce because they’re blindsided by one another’s growth. The separation helps to assess how these changes affect the dynamics of the relationship.
It has been said that the ones who suffer the most during a divorce process are children. This is why most states require a form of separation before granting divorce to a squabbling couple. The separation helps the children cope with the big changes in the household.
Handling Separation to Divorce
A healthy break up isn’t a myth. It can be done and can make the transition from separation more civilized and bearable.
Divorce proceedings often unearth emotions that are raw and intense. There’s anger, fear, despair, grief, and anxiety. Most of the time, one or all of these emotions rise – which is unsurprising and fairly common. But even with these intense emotions, cooperate. Even when it gets difficult, don’t cut the communication line. If both parties can’t do the actual talking, let the divorce lawyers hold the line.
Look for a lawyer who understands that divorce is more than its legalities. Find one who can also represent the welfare of the children. It’s also possible for a husband or a wife to represent himself or herself during a divorce proceeding. There are several reputable online services that help people go through the process the right way.
Divorce is a process, and you have to ease through each step the right way. Make sure that you have all the support that you need. It’s not an easy ordeal, it never is. But with the right kind of help, you can get rid of unnecessary stress and challenges and deal with what’s more important the right way. If you have been in a legal separation for some time and the changes you need to see are not happening, it may be time to make a transition and get one with your life.