Living apart: letting go; procedure for maritial separation: consensual or matrimonial proceedings

Living apart: letting go; procedure for maritial separation: consensual or matrimonial proceedings

Drifting apart

Your relationship is failing, but you have deep separation anxiety. The future is so uncertain and you have understandable concerns. “Should I move out? Do I have what it takes to thrive independently?” Deep down, you know you should separate. For many, this will seem unfamiliar, alienating, but liberating in the future. Separation means letting go and opening another chapter. Start preparing and gathering the necessary documents. Download the relevant checklist.


One of you is not yet ready to make a final decision about breaking up your marriage. One of you thinks there could be reconciliation after some time spent apart. Thus, a separation is a feasible alternative to divorce.

When one household is split into two …

Separation agreement – both spouses agree

You resolve to part ways and your partner agrees. You proceed without litigation: The joint household is dissolved, and you hash out the terms of separation.

Who should move out and who should stay in the marital home? What household items can the other person claim? Who pays how much to whom for the ongoing support of “the family”? Who looks after the children and when?

A separation agreement enables you to proceed with your life without worrying about how long you live apart or when your divorce will be finalized. The agreement establishes temporary terms pertaining to marital separation matters, such as custody, child support, spousal maintenance. Download the relevant checklist.


Matrimonial proceedings – in case of disagreement of the spouses

If you cannot resolve disagreements about the terms of separation, you can initiate matrimonial proceedings. You do this, to enforce support arrangements for your minor children, and in the case of pensioners to define how pension and survivors’ benefits will be allocated.

The goal of a matrimonial proceeding is to define comprehensively and enforce the terms of separation. Details often include:

  • Approval of living apart.
  • Allocation of the parental home and household goods.
  • Determination of custody, visitation rights and support obligations for minor children.
  • Any child protective measures.
  • Maintenance arrangement.
  • Property division orders.

Time: living separately for at least two years

Time plays an important role. Proof of the two years of separation is enough to impose a divorce, even when your partner is not in favor of it. Or is unprepared. Will you be the one prepared when the two-year mark arrives? Or will you be taken advantage of, as in marriage?

Do you need help? Should the terms of your separation be resolved now? Documented and settled? I would be happy to assist you.