• Could a Trial Separation Actually Save Your Marriage?

  • In This Article

    What It Is

    Potential Benefits

    Potential Risks

    How to Make It Work

    Have you ever wondered if a trial separation might be just what you and your partner need to improve your relationship? If so, you’re not alone.

    Some couples who are struggling (perhaps even thinking about divorce) agree to a trial separation. They hope that spending some time apart might help them come back together in a healthier way.

    Or if they’re considering divorce , they feel a trial separation could give them a little insight into what it would be like to live apart before making the decision.

    But many people argue that spending time apart is bound to break down an already strained relationship.

    Related: Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Divorce

    What Is a Trial Separation?

    A trial separation is different from a legal separation. When

    couples get legally separated , there are lawyers involved in determining how money is divided or how custody is arranged. In a trial separation, it’s up to the couple to create an informal agreement together. In addition, most couples:

    For some, a trial separation may be a stepping stone toward divorce. For others, it can be a cooling-off period that allows them to work on issues without the emotional intensity they experience while living together.

    Potential Benefits

    Separating on a trial basis could have some benefits for your relationship. These benefits may include:

    Related: Ways to Strengthen a Marriage and Avoid Divorce

    Potential Risks

    Trial separations can do more harm than good in some cases. Here are the potential risks:

    How to Make a Trial Separation Work for You

    If you want to make a trial separation effective, it’s important to take steps that will give your relationship a real chance. Here are some things you may want to do:

    A Word From Verywell

    If you’re thinking of a trial separation, it may be a good idea to talk to a professional first. A counselor might be able to help you create a plan (before one of you actually moves out) that can help make your trial separation effective.

    If you’ve already separated, reach out for help as soon as you can. If your partner refuses to see a therapist , see one on your own. Talking to someone can still be beneficial even if your partner doesn’t attend.

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