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What Not To Do During Separation: Top Do’s And Don’ts

There are many requirements that couples must meet when pursuing marital separation. However, there are also some things that couples should avoid doing when exercising their separation rights.

If you want to know more about what not to do during separation, you don’t have to look any further. We know everything about it and will help you navigate your separation rights in Florida.

Top 5 Tips On What Not To Do During Separation

An infographic on what not to do during separation

Below are the top five tips on what not to do during separation:

1.   Don’t Move Out Of The Marital Home 

The top mistake you should avoid making when exercising your separation rights is moving out of the marital home. This is an easily avoidable error that many couples make due to a lack of understanding.

If you leave your marital home, you may face various legal consequences. For instance, the judge may perceive that you abandoned your family and move your case toward a divorce instead of separation.

This is regardless of the reason you left the house. Some spouses give their partners favor by offering them the entire home for privacy. However, no judge will look at your good intentions if you leave your marital home during separation.

You will also lose the opportunity for getting equal time-sharing with your kid. The decision to move out of the home will also affect child custody significantly. Typically, courts will favor the parent who has been living in the marital home for custody.

So you must ensure you and your spouse live in the same home before formal agreements have been reached. You can reside in separate rooms or portions of the house to make things easier.

However, you must never move out of the house under any circumstances even if your spouse asks you to.

2.   Don’t Sign Any Documents Without Consulting With Your Family Lawyer First

Another tip for what not to do during separation is to sign documents without consulting a family lawyer. Many people consider marital separation to be less serious than divorce. This is why they believe they don’t have to contact lawyers for it.

However, that is not true. Marital separation may be less serious than a divorce, but there are still tons of documents you’ll have to sign. If you don’t read the papers carefully, you may risk losing your rights to different assets or your children.

You may also not have enough knowledge about legal terminologies to understand different documents easily. This is why it is necessary to hire a family lawyer for consultation. They can help you understand all the terms and conditions of your legal separation.

If any clause in the agreement favors your spouse and puts you at a disadvantage, the lawyer can identify it for you. They may also help you develop a counter-agreement that will favor you and your spouse equally.

A consultation with a lawyer will help you understand their expertise and get some basic advice on legal separation. If you feel the lawyer can meet your needs, you can hire them full-time to help you with your marital separation process.

3.   Don’t Deny Your Partner The Right To Co-Parent With You 

People learning what not to do during separation fail to figure out parenting details until the last moment. You may want complete custody of your child to spend the most time with them. However, that is not always a good decision.

You must be open to co-parenting unless you’re getting a divorce or the kid will be in danger with your partner. The best thing is that you and your spouse can figure out your kid’s time-management arrangement yourself.

Courts usually don’t change the agreements parents reach unless it will hurt the child’s psyche. The first thing you and your spouse should focus on is the division of time. Remember as parents you will have to send your kids to school punctually.

You must also pick them up from school on time and be there to help them during lessons at home. This is why you and your spouse must devise an arrangement that ensures you’re there for your kid.

If one of the spouses works full-time, they may get time-sharing for the weekend. The other parent may manage the kid during weekdays. You both will also have to ensure the arrangement that works out for you does not affect your child negatively or upend their life.

4.   Don’t Dispose Of Any Asset Or Property

One of the top things that come to mind about what not to do during separation is disposing of assets or properties. This is called wasteful dissipation of marital assets in legal terms.

You may want to sell a property during separation so that you can keep its entire amount to yourself. If your spouse realizes this, they can file a complaint against you legally.

This is especially true if you and your spouse had equal rights in that marital property. The legal complaint will cause you and your spouse to reach in court. You’ll have to explain the charges against you and prove them to be false if you don’t want to suffer consequences.

Remember if the court finds you guilty of wasteful dissipation, it will destroy your credibility. You may also be at a disadvantage during the division of other assets when a judge interferes. They may also not award you child custody due to fleeing or other risks.

So never consider selling any property or asset that you bought during your marriage. These things can include:

  • Cars
  • Properties
  • Jewelry
  • Art pieces

If you do want to sell an asset, you may take your spouse’s consent before proceeding any further. Sometimes spouses allow selling off of properties if they want their financial share too.

5.   Don’t Rush Towards Divorce 

The last tip for what not to do during separation is rushing toward divorce. Family lawyers may tell you to pursue divorce immediately so that they can represent you in court and charge significant fees.

However, divorce is a final action that you cannot undo. This means it does not have any chance of reconciliation. If you change your mind about staying with your partner after the finalization, you’ll have to get married again.

Meanwhile, marital separation allows you and your spouse to take time apart to think about your marriage. You can weigh in all the positives and negatives of your relationship. The time apart may also make you realize how much you love or despise each other.

Once you’ve spent enough time apart and still think your marriage is irreparable, you can proceed towards divorce. However, avoid getting a divorce immediately after legal separation or without even considering separation.

Top 5 Tips On What To Do When Separating

An infographic on what to do during separation

Let’s at the top five tips on what to do when separating from your spouse:

1.   Hire A Mediator Or Lawyer

Hiring a mediator or a lawyer is important when exercising your separation rights. They can help you understand the marital assets of you and your spouse have. An attorney can also develop a division agreement that will help you get your fair share of assets.

If you and your spouse are constantly fighting over assets, intervention by a mediator can go a long way. These individuals can get you into a room to make you and your partner decide on things each of you wants.

They may also offer alternatives that would help both parties if you don’t want to give up on specific assets. It is also necessary to hire a lawyer because you and your spouse will have to sign a legally binding separation agreement.

Without such an agreement, courts will not recognize your marital separation. Meanwhile, in states that normally don’t accept separation, a lawyer may help you understand alternatives.

2.   Take Care Of Your Emotional And Mental Health

Many people know what not to do during separation, but they get surprised about things they must be doing. It is necessary to care for your physical and mental health when separating.

That is because you must be in a sound state of mind to make wise decisions about different things such as:

  • Property division
  • Debt division
  • Time-sharing with kid
  • Marital home division

You must also be healthy enough to know what not to do during separation for an easier process.

If your mental health suffers during separation, you may not focus on the agreements that your spouse offers you. For example, you may sign a document without reading it due to emotional stress.

These things will only put you at a disadvantage during marital separation. So always take out time for yourself such as going to massage therapy. You may also go on walks daily to clear your mind while maintaining your physical health.

Talking to friends or family members about the separation process may also help you stay calm.

3.   Decide How You Want To Communicate With Your Partner

One of the top issues that most couples experience during marital separation or divorce is poor communication. Partners are unable to convey their messages and end up fighting with each other on minor aspects.

This is why thinking about how to communicate with your partner will be helpful. For example, you both may want to involve lawyers in meetings to avoid talking to each other.

You may also keep family lawyers out and directly talk to each other in person. Another way to communicate is on video calls, but that is not preferable for sensitive matters such as legal separation.

Once you decide on a communication method, make sure to follow it for smooth proceedings. It is also important for your spouse to agree on the relevant method.

If you want to talk through a lawyer, but your spouse wants to meet you in person, you must find common ground. Otherwise, pursuing separation would be difficult.

4.   Think About The Impact Of Marital Separation On Children

Many parents don’t think about the effect of their separation on their children. You may only believe the process is difficult and emotionally draining for you. However, kids catch on to stressful situations faster than most adults.

So always keep your children in mind whenever deciding on any aspect of separation. Avoid badmouthing your spouse in front of your kids to ensure they don’t think negatively about one of their parents.

You should also try to understand how the news of separation would affect your kids. It is necessary to tell them in a friendly way about the separation and ensure they don’t get the news from other family members.

5.   Sort Out Your Finances Beforehand

The final tip on what to do when separating is to sort your finances beforehand. You and your spouse must collect each other’s net income statements.

There are also other financial documents that you must sort out such as:

  • Debt statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgage payments
  • Insurance payments

A lawyer may help you and your partner sort out your financial statements to help you divide assets accordingly.

You may even want alimony from your spouse for support. If so, you’ll have to prove your finances are not adequate for monthly survival.


Do I Have To Support My Wife During Separation?

You’ll have to support your wife during separation if they are eligible for alimony or spousal support. For example, they may not have a higher education degree due to marriage restrictions. This may limit their employment capacity and net income.

Is Separation Good For A Marriage?

Separation can be good for a marriage if you and your spouse cannot understand each other anymore. The time apart can help you focus on your career without affecting your kids significantly. It may also help you repair your marriage gradually.

How Do You Manage Separation In A Marriage?

You can manage a separation by caring for your mental and physical health. Give yourself breaks and think positively about the outcomes of separation for an easier process.

Final Thoughts

That was your complete guide to what not to do during separation. You can pursue legal separation by hiring a lawyer for consultation or other reasons.

Phone us now to get more information about our family lawyers for an easier separation process in Florida.

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