Over the last few months, I have spoken with many couples who are really
struggling with their marriages.
These couples are sad, confused, and not quite sure what path to take.
They often say, “I don’t know what to do, I’m conflicted.”
Just the idea of divorce for some is very painful.
Some couples have been married for 20 plus years and the marriage is just
not working any more. Others are married 8, 10, 12 years and are dealing
with constant fighting, abuse, cheating, a spouse hiding assets, and in
some cases mental illness.
There’s a lot of inner turmoil, fear of the unknown, and often a
deep desire to keep the family together especially during these challenging
times. Still others have been affected by the past year, have done a lot
of soul searching, and want a change for the better.
For those who are not quite ready to plunge into a divorce, and when living
apart could be an important first step, I sometimes recommend a physical
A legal separation is a contractually defined and court-honored agreement
between a couple who have chosen to live apart but are still legally married.
As one of my family-friendly divorce tools, depending on some of the psychological
components of the marriage, I show couples how taking this approach can
have constructive benefits as their first step in considering whether
or not to divorce.
A legal separation can kick-start making some important decisions about:
1. Child support
3. Spousal support
4. Analysis of monthly expenses
5. Development of budget
6. Creating a co-parenting schedule
For those couples who might want to stay married, a legal separation also
leaves the door open for reconciliation. My motto is, “Whenever
a marriage can reasonably be saved without harm, it should be attempted.”
In addition, a legal separation can provide some important benefits:
1. Spending time apart can help clear your head;
2. Give you the opportunity to lay out the terms of divorce in advance;
3. Get some guidance from a marriage counselor/therapist;
4. Introduce spending time apart to the children;
5. Maintaining health insurance coverage;
6. Still filing joint Income taxes;
7. Consulting with an attorney/mediator to prepare if divorce is the next step.
Divorce is not one size fits all. Sometimes divorce is not the final answer
and a legal separation can be a helpful vehicle for getting a marriage
back on track.
If you need some creative advice on how to approach your divorce, drafting
a separation agreement, and leaving your options open to reconcile if
that’s your wish, call me.
With over 35 years of experience as a lawyer and psychologically-trained
mediator, I can draft a thorough agreement and provide you with the support
and tools necessary to start this journey.
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are very
informative and conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk!
I look forward to speaking with you.
Stay healthy and safe!
Call Attorney Lois Brenner a Legal Separation Specialist Now to schedule
your FREE consultation!