Boundaries You May Want To Set Up When Legally Separating

Law Articles

Legal separation is something you might be considering if your marriage is going through extreme difficulties. It is often the first step towards divorce; however, it can also be a tool used to reconcile a relationship. If your goal is to use this time to see if the marriage can be mended, you and your spouse should sit down and discuss guidelines for the separation. These are often referred to as boundaries or rules, and they can be quite helpful for a couple that hopes to be able to repair a broken relationship. Here are several boundaries you may want to discuss and use for your legal separation.

Dating Guidelines

One thing that can cause a separation to turn into a divorce is a third party involved in the relationship in some type of intimate or romantic way. Because of this, it may be important for you and your spouse to discuss the expectations, rules, and boundaries relating to dating. For example, you might want to agree on the following guidelines:

  • No dating during this time
  • No sexual contact with anyone
  • No texting, chatting, or phone calls with regards to dating or flirting
  • No bringing dates or potential romantic partners around the children

By developing these guidelines and sticking with them, you could avoid all the problems that could occur when another person is brought into a relationship. It may also be important to discuss intimacy issues between you and your spouse. For example, will you remain intimate during the separation? If so, you may want to discuss the frequency of this and other terms, such as the location or timing.

House Visits

It may be tempting for one spouse to just drop in at the other spouse's house during this time, but this is not a good idea. A lot of times, spouses will only do this because of suspicions they may have or feel at the time. It is better to give each other space, though, which may mean creating a rule that states you must call before stopping in. This boundary can help you both have the time and space you need during this period of separation, and when you can both stick with this rule, it will show respect for the other person.

Discussions Over Bills And Debts

To legally separate and get the full benefits of this, you will need to decide which spouse will move out. In addition, you will have to decide how you will handle the bills and debts of the marriage. It may be less of a financial burden if one spouse can move in with a relative or close friend, but this is not always possible. If this is not an option, it may mean that you will be going from one set of bills to two, and this may place additional strain on the relationship. This is why it is important to discuss this and how you will handle things.

As you are discussing these issues, it might be wise to place some boundaries in place relating to debt. For example, you may want to agree not to make any large purchases of any kind during this time. You may also want to agree not to rack up any extra debt during this time, such as credit card debt. Another good boundary to create is taking the time to discuss budgets and bills every week or month while you are separated. This is a great way to stay accountable to each other and avoid running into further financial problems.

Creating boundaries for a separation is important if you want to try to reconcile the relationship. If you have any questions about legal separation or divorce, you could always contact a divorce lawyer, such as those at Koth & Gregory PC Law Firm, to schedule a consultation appointment.


17 March 2016

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