Marriage is no way the same as how they are portrayed in fairy tales. “Happily ever after” isn’t always rainbows and sunshine, but overcoming a myriad of challenges together and choosing each other every day despite the bad days. Couples who uphold their values strongly and abide by their vows normally survive all the circumstances, but not without falling out of love and needing space.
It is completely normal to question your feelings for your spouse in the course of your marriage. When you experience this, a divorce might be the first thing you’d consider, but if you still wish to hold on to the marriage, you can resort to legal separation, instead.
The time you and your spouse will spend apart could lead to the strengthening of your marriage if both of you choose to work on rekindling your love while living separately. If you ultimately decide to give your marriage another chance, you can reverse a legal separation with the help of an experienced family law attorney from Littleton, Colorado, or other places.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
In a legal separation, the rights and duties of the couple remain unchanged; whereas, in a divorce, they are completely dissolved along with the marriage. That means you still continue to benefit from each other’s health care and other insurances, retain your marital status, make decisions for one another, share debts and liabilities, preserve your rights to your joint properties, and revive your marriage if you file a legal separation.
The common characteristics it shares with divorce is that the court also decides on separation maintenance, which is the equivalent of alimony and child support in a divorce. Child custody, visitation rights, and property division will also be determined, though they all depend on the couple’s situation and whether they wish to reverse their legal separation or not.
How to Rekindle Your Marriage
Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W., a licensed therapist and best-selling author of “Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go,” and “Stronger Day by Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce,” strongly believes in the therapeutic value of a separation to strengthen a marriage. Instead of referring to it as legal separation, you can call it Enhancement Separation.
First of all, the separation must be decided for the right reasons, and with clear agreements. Though it’s already a given that your bond has weakened due to betrayed trust and other issues, the separation can still be a way for forgiveness and the revival of your marriage.
Get professional support, preferably from a therapist, lawyer, mediator, or a clergy. It’s important to have a neutral support system to ease tension and other negative feelings between you and your spouse.
Make your expectations from each other clear. Be open to hearing your spouse’s desires, such as maintaining constant communication or seeing the kids. Set goals as well, which you also have to communicate with one another. It should be clear between the two of you that your aim is to strengthen the marriage. If your spouse turns out to consider divorce eventually, reviving your marriage may be unlikely.
Keep your communications lines open. Even if you need some space, completely isolating yourself from your spouse may have the opposite effect of what you’re aiming for. Ideally, enhancement separation should last for 6 months at most. Prolonging it may make your marriage suffer even more, so spend those 6 months doing what’s right, focusing on your goal.
Note, however, that the outcome of your separation may still be unpredictable even if you’re doing it to revive your marriage. For that reason, it’s critical to observe honesty and maintain communication during this period so that whatever you decide on in the end, you’d keep your peace, knowing that you’ve already done everything you could to save the marriage.