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Therapists advocate trial separations for troubled couples

20501452_S (1).jpgMarriage is not easy. It involves making compromises, sharing sacrifices and working through differences. And over time, differences can become more pronounced and even develop into resentments. Eventually, spouses may have difficulty communicating civilly, at which point one or both parties may start questioning the wisdom of remaining together.

It is not unusual for a married couple to find themselves wondering if they are still compatible. And if their situation becomes overwrought with conflict, they may consider getting a divorce. But is this necessarily the best move? What if a couple could take a timeout from their marriage to see what life would be like apart?

A legal separation provides a couple with a cooling off period, which allows them to assess their future options. And according to therapists, time apart can be extremely beneficial for troubled married couples. But therapists also say that a couple who is considering a separation needs to set specific parameters if they are truly interested in saving their marriage.

And if a couple should choose to become legally separated, they will need to examine many of the same issues that they would encounter if were they getting divorced. In particular, there may be details regarding property division, child support and child custody to work out. It is also important to understand that the terms created for a legal separation can be very significant if the separation leads to a divorce.

For this reason, if you and your spouse are planning to legally separate, it is likely a good idea to work with a family law attorney who can help you create an amenable set of terms. Hopefully, your separation will ultimately lead to reconciliation. But if not, the separation agreement you crafted with the help of your lawyer can form the basis of your divorce settlement.

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