It is not uncommon for spouses to have a period of separation before ultimately deciding if they do want to move forward with the divorce process or not. If you are thinking about separating from your spouse, a separation period can offer the couple perspective on their marriage and help them clarify whether they can overcome their issues or if divorce is the right path forward for the family.
Whichever way the separation goes, there are some things that you should not do while separated or when separating from your spouse that apply in all situations. Here are just a few of many things to avoid:
Table of Contents
- 1. Do not post on social media about the separation or the reasons behind it.
- 2. Don’t make financial commitments before a final agreement is reached.
- 3. Don’t involve the children.
- 4. Don’t rush into a new relationship when separating from your spouse.
- 5. Don’t sign anything or rush into an agreement until you talk to a family law attorney.
Pretty much everyone, including your grandma, is on social media today. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, or some other platform, your family and friends are connected to you and pay attention to what you post. Airing out your problems on social media is never a positive way to deal with your feelings, and if divorce is the path you take, those past posts can possibly be used against you in your divorce case. If you need somewhere safe to vent or talk about your spouse and the separation, you should contact a therapist so these things can be discussed in a safe space rather than broadcasted online.
2. Don’t make financial commitments before a final agreement is reached.
Try to maintain the financial status quo during the separation period. Don’t go out and rent a new apartment or buy a new house, purchase a new vehicle, or make any other large financial purchases or commitments. Doing so may overextend your finances at a time when you want to be saving and making important decisions regarding finances. Also, if during the separation period you and your spouse will still be staying in the marital residence, don’t offer to pay more than what you have already been paying for monthly expenses such as the mortgage, utilities, groceries, and the like. Doing this may set a standard later that the Court will require you to maintain even if it was only meant to be temporary during the separation.
3. Don’t involve the children.
Involving your children is a big mistake that could come back and bite you if you and your spouse do proceed with getting a divorce. Ideally, if possible, try to keep things status quo with the children. By keeping everything as normal as possible for the children, you will be keeping them safe from any emotional or mental trauma. Don’t talk about the separation with the children and definitely don’t talk about your spouse in front of them. If a judge finds out that one parent is involving the children in the details of the divorce case or using them in some way to get back at the other parent, that puts you in danger of losing parenting time with your kids or even losing custody. You should always put the children first and do what is in their best interest.
4. Don’t rush into a new relationship when separating from your spouse.
Going through a separation period or eventually a divorce is emotionally and psychologically draining. Your time and energy should be focused on your children and taking care of your well-being. You need to give yourself some time to adjust to the separation and to heal from your marriage. Juggling a new relationship with the demands and requirements of your divorce case, as well as trying to focus on yourself and the needs of your children, can throw everything off. Focus on the present and what is best for you and your family in the immediate future. Once you do that, you will hopefully be able to see a finish line and be more open to a new relationship.
5. Don’t sign anything or rush into an agreement until you talk to a family law attorney.
If you and your spouse are able to work out an agreement regarding both the parenting and financial issues related to the divorce, that is definitely a huge step in the right direction. However, although you and you spouse might be tempted to just sign the agreement once it is typed up and have it entered by the Court, you should get it reviewed by an experienced family law attorney at the very least. Having the agreement reviewed by an experienced divorce attorney does not mean you will necessarily need to change any of the terms of the agreement, but ensures that the agreement is fair, reasonable and not too one-sided. If there are some serious problems with the agreement, the attorney will be sure to let you know so those can be further negotiated and changed to ensure you won’t regret this agreement just days after signing.