A couple may sometimes try a trial separation before proceeding with divorce. In some cases, the couple is attempting reconciliation while separated. In other cases, they have made the decision to no longer move forward as a couple, but aren’t ready to divorce.

Although separation can sometimes provide the environment needed to allow your marriage to recover toward reconciliation, it can have lasting impacts if you make the decision to divorce.

Complication When Moving From Separation to Divorce

Quite often, a couple may avoid filing for divorce simply because they don’t want to go through the hassle of dividing assets. Other times, an emotional hurdle may be standing in their way. Whatever the reason for postponing filing for divorce, proceed with caution.

Many couples make arrangements for the duration they are separated, including custody, child support, or alimony. While the couple may view temporary arrangements between the parties as simple terms, they can have long-lasting effects. Although these arrangements may be satisfactory on a temporary basis, they potentially may be detrimental to your case when you begin divorce proceedings.

For example, if you have been separated for a couple years, then make the decision to move forward with divorce proceedings, you may tell the court you need more financial support from the opposing party. If you have been living off the temporary amount the opposing party has been providing for several years while separated, the court may have a difficult time understanding why you need more.

Likewise, if you have been allowing the other party to take your children on a weekly basis for two years during your separation, but then you attempt to seek minimum visitation between them in your divorce, the court may have a difficult time understanding your actions due to the custody situation that has been in place during your separation.

Ensure Separation Orders are in Place

The bottom line is that continuing to stay separated without orders in place may actually be detrimental to you in the long run. The court may look at your case and say “If you’ve made it work this long, why not make it permanent?” Be cautious when making temporary arrangements with your ex. Even if they are only verbal agreements, they can still make a difference in your case.

At Burton Law Firm, we encourage you to speak to an attorney to find out what you’re entitled to. If you’d like to sit down with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please contact our office today.


Peter is one of the top up-and-coming young lawyers in the state. Raised in Layton, Utah, Peter was named by the Standard-Examiner as among the top 2% of Utah’s high school seniors.

In addition to his current practice, Peter’s practical experience includes serving as extern corporate counsel for Shiseido, one of the world’s largest cosmetic corporations, and clerking for federal criminal appellate counsel. He has extensive experience in family law matters.

He enjoys feeling like he has made a difference helping his clients with their domestic case needs.

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