Before opting for a full-fledged divorce, some couples decide instead to do a legal separation. What this means is that you have filed your separation with the courts to make it legal, but you are also still legally married. For some people, legal separation is exactly what you need to work on your marriage and take the steps necessary to salvage your relationship. However, for others, this legal separation forces you to lean that the marriage cannot be saved, and the divorce becomes inevitable. If you are currently undergoing a legal separation, here are six mistakes you must avoid.
Mistake #1: Keeping joint accounts.
Even if you hope your marriage ends up working out, it’s still important for the two of you to be individuals, and this means handling your own money. If you have joint accounts, you make it easier for one of you to do something stupid that cannot be undone and bring more harm than good to the relationship. As soon as you decide to do a legal separation, be sure to close all joint accounts and instead open individual ones.
Mistake #2: Not following the terms of the agreement.
During a legal separation, a lawyer or legal aid will write up a separation agreement for the two of you to follow. This document will spell out all the rules you and your spouse need to follow while you are separated. If you break any of these rules, you could find yourself facing serious consequences or putting yourself in a bad financial situation. Instead of taking that risk, just make sure to adhere to the agreement.
Mistake #3: Overspending.
While you’re on your own, it may be exciting to want to spend a little bit of money on yourself. While you most certainly deserve it, overspending is not a good idea, especially right now. For instance, if you do end up getting divorced and this big purchase or lavish vacation shows up on your financial history, your ex could accuse you of spending marital assets in a selfish way, and this means you could end up having to somehow put that money back. If you really want to overspend on something, wait until after you have salvaged your marriage or finalized the divorce.
Mistake #4: Oversharing.
Today’s plethora of technology makes it easy for you to share your feelings and life story with people you haven’t seen face to face in years (or ever). However, airing your dirty laundry on social media could come back to bite you in the butt. First, your private life is nobody’s business but your own. Second, any of this information is now public, and you need to be aware that anything you say could come back and be used against you during a divorce proceeding.
Mistake #5: Getting into a new relationship.
Your legal separation is a time where you’re supposed to be focusing on the future of your current relationship, not starting a new one. It is not a smart idea for you to start a new relationship during this time, especially if there is any small chance your marriage could be salvaged.
Mistake #6: Not being realistic.
As mentioned above, some people can get back together after a legal separation and some can’t. However, what you need to do is just be realistic about your situation and decide on the outcome that must be made. For instance, if you and your spouse are getting along and things are looking up, then maybe you get back together. If neither of you can stand the sight of one another, then it’s best to file for divorce.
A legal separation is a good way to make the right final decision on your marriage, but it’s very important you don’t make any of these mistakes while it’s happening.