I am often asked if trial separations really work – what are the potential benefits, are there any drawbacks?
Let’s break this down into the three individual questions:
Do Trial Separations Really Work?
Yes, they frequently do work. A well thought-out and structured trial separation can be an extremely worthwhile process.
If what you’re asking is “Do trial separations prevent divorce?”, the answer is: sometimes. A trial separation can demonstrate to a couple that divorce isn’t the answer and they should give the relationship another chance. On the other hand, the separation can function as a kind of dry run for divorce, giving the couple a chance to explore the realities of living apart without quite so much at stake.
5 Potential Benefits That May Come With a Trial Separation
- A chance to calm the emotional turmoil that arises when couples in jeopardy are living in close quarters.
- Space for thinking, resolving, and healing.
- Time to transition from a married state to living with divorce.
- Financial and logistical experiences that will help you create a strong divorce agreement and parenting plan later.
- The opportunity to realize divorce may not be the best, or only solution.
Are There Any Drawbacks to a Trial Separation?
To be honest, a trial separation may not be benefit everyone. In particular, the non-initiating spouse, the one who’s not on board, is often left in a state of painful limbo, waiting for the initiating spouse to come to a decision.
You can ease this anxiety by setting expectations – agree to a time limit for deciding what comes next.
The success and benefits of your trail separation depend on how well you plan, your consistency in sticking to that plan, and your willingness to tweak it when necessary – particularly when it’s best for the children.