Splitting up with your partner is often a painful and difficult decision to make. Serving your partner with divorce papers can often be the final act that completely eradicates any chances of possible reconciliation. If you are uncertain about the future of your marriage, other options exist that may be more suitable for you and your spouse. In most states, before you can file for divorce you must be separated from your spouse for a certain amount of time. This time period is meant to identify surfacing feelings of reconciliation from either or both individuals and also serves as a way for both parties to determine if the marriage can be salvaged. After the decision to file for separation is made the next step is to decide what type of separation is most appropriate for the given circumstances.

  1. Trial Separation

During a trial separation you and your partner are living separately in order to decide if divorce is the appropriate next step. If both parties come to a mutual decision and decide to file for divorce then any debts or assets accrued during the separation period by law are recognized as jointly owned. Essentially, during this style of separation the same legal laws are still applicable.

  1. Permanent Separation

If both you and your partner are living separately with no intention of reconciliation, this constitutes as a permanent separation. During the course of a permanent separation legal laws concerning debts and assets change drastically. Any debts incurred during permanent separation belong solely to the individual who accumulated the debts. If you’re partner accepts a loan during your time of separation the loan and any interest incurred are the responsibility of your partner.

  1. Legal Separation

If both parties decide on a legal separation then the case is settled in family court. The court issues orders about how alimony, child support, custody, and property are handled. By law, legal separation does not mean that you are divorced, however it also does not mean that you are still married to your partner. Although, you are no longer considered to be married to your partner you are unable to remarry while under the status of a legal separation. For most people legal separation is an appealing alternative because it allows both spouses to continue to receive financial support in the form of insurance or child support. Additionally, for individuals with strong religious beliefs that are opposed to divorce legal separation is an alternative that creates a loophole.

  1. Psychological Separation

In some situations financial constraints prevent a partner from moving out of the house and setting a place of their own. In cases like this some partners chose the route of “psychological separation.” Psychological separation usually means that both parties are sleeping in separate areas and completing their daily tasks/routines independently. Throughout the course of psychological separation both individuals cut off almost all forms of communication and interaction with the other partner. Psychological separation operates under the assumption that one strengthens their self-identity by becoming self-sufficient. To ease the difficulties associated with psychological separation a contract is usually created to divide responsibilities