There Is Always Another Way: Examining 4 Alternatives to Divorce

When a married couple’s relationship begins to deteriorate, divorce is often the option they turn to. Divorce can provide a dissolution of their marriage and allow each person to go their separate ways and begin their lives again apart. Although this option seems simple enough, it never really is that simple. Often, a divorce can lead couples to many difficult problems and situations that they may not be able to face easily. A divorce requires a separation of all assets which can lead to difficulties. It also requires a determination of custody and support for any children involved in the marriage. With the current living and working situations, it may be a solution one or both members of the couple may not be able to afford when finances are separated. There are some situations where a divorce is a necessary option, but for couples who can put aside differences to allow them to find a better solution, there are alternatives that may be a better option for everyone involved.

Legal Separation

In a divorce, it is a final solution to dissolving a marriage. Terms must be determined to help sort out all the various aspects of the marriage. Both parties must determine the best way to divide assets and support for each other. Any children in the marriage bring their own set of complications. Custody and visitation must be determined as well as child support. Once the terms have been settled, the divorce is complete and the changes are permanent, regardless of the difficulties one or both parties may face due to the divorce. A legal separation may provide an option for those considering divorce. It can often be considered a trial run for a divorce. Simply click it to find legal information about the legal separation process.

In a legal separation, the couple can file legal papers with the court system that basically lets them out of the obligations of their marriage. Couples can move into their own homes and start their own lives separately. For some couples, this gives each of them the opportunity to pursue other relationships or even career options that they felt they were unable to pursue while married. Legal separation is often similar to a trial divorce. This trial divorce allows each person to see the benefits and difficulties of being divorced without the finality of a divorce.

During the legal separation, couples can maintain their legally married status. This can be a benefit for various issues, such as medical insurance. If one person provides medical insurance through their job for both parties, this allows the other party to continue to receive coverage even during the separation. If one person was a stay at home parent, this allows them the opportunity to get the support needed from the other party to find a place or get a job. It also allows both parties the ability to determine the best amount of support that needs to be provided to cover the costs of both individuals living alone. During the legal separation, these terms of support and splitting of assets can be adjusted as needed without the finality of a divorce agreement.

A legal separation can also be beneficial in determining child custody. During the separation, various aspects of the care for the child can be more easily seen and identified. It can make it easier for the parents to adjust custody or visitation depending on the various changes they are going through. It can also help them to determine a better type of child support to ensure the child’s or children’s needs are met when the divorce is completed. Parents and children can also receive counseling to help them work through this transition in an easier way without the stress that can be caused by an immediate divorce.

At the end of the legal separation, couples are better prepared to make the separation final with a divorce. In some cases, legal separation provides an opportunity for couples to realize that divorce is not the best option. Whether this is due to the financial difficulties or even a reconciliation of differences, the couple can easily decide not to get a divorce at the end of a legal separation. If not divorcing, couples can use this time to determine another alternative to divorce that may work better for them and their situation.

Staying Together

One obvious alternative to divorce is staying together. Whether this is the first option or a choice after legal separation, it is important to realize that there was a reason why divorce was considered in the first place. Staying together and avoiding divorce simply because divorce can be ugly, is usually the worst option. It can cause couples to become resentful towards each other and often leads to a messier divorce down the road. This makes it important if a couple decides to stay together, to really examine the relationship and take steps to correct those issues.

Marriage counseling is often a great way to push couples to face their problems and take steps to correct those issues. By addressing problems or even perceived problems, couples can find ways to work to overcome those problems. Staying together, however, may require couples to take a hard look at what they want out of the marriage. In some cases, couples may need to redefine what marriage means to them to ensure their success. This may even require redefining what success means.

Many people define marriage as a union of love. They also consider a successful marriage as one where they stay together until one person dies. In many cases, this puts unrealistic burdens on one or both partners. Love can fade. There is no magical fire of love that will keep couples together forever. When couples acknowledge that and learn to work with each other, they can often overcome many of their difficulties. Just because the famed “spark” is no longer there, it doesn’t mean their relationship is over or that they have to seek out the “spark” somewhere else. Couples can also place term limits on their marriage to reexamine the relationship at various points. If it still works, good. If it does not, then changes must be made or even divorce may be in the cards.

Open Marriage

An open marriage is also an option many couples today are considering as an alternative to divorce. This allows a couple to bring others into their marriage, or even step out of the marriage to experience the companionship of another. For some, this has brought new life to their relationship and allowed them to stay together and happy throughout their marriage. Although many people may cringe at the idea, it is actually an option that has saved many couples from divorce. In most cases, an open marriage is often a temporary experience for couples. Eventually, they close the marriage again and have a stronger, more loving relationship.

An open marriage is not an option for every couple. For this to work, both parties must be completely open to the idea. If one or both parties have issues with jealousy, this may not be the best idea for the relationship. It is also important that specific rules are laid out before the marriage is opened. There should also be plans made to determine what should be done if any of those rules are broke.  In many cases, an open marriage is about finding something one or both parties feel they are not getting from each other. Very often, it has little to do with sex or infidelity.

Purpose-Driven Marriage

There are times when a couple realizes that their relationship is over. However, whether with or with a legal separation first, they realize that a divorce is not the right option. Often this is due to financial reasons. Other times it may be due to wanting their children to grow up with both parents together. In these types of marriages, the couples are no longer romantically involved, but remain living in the same home for various benefits this can have on them and their children.

With the high cost of living and low wages, many people face in today’s world, getting a divorce can be a costly process. The family home is often awarded to one person, while the other must find a new place to live. For the couple, this requires the same costs to maintain the family home with the additional burden of the costs of the second home. Although couples can choose to sell the family home, this can often be very difficult for those with children.  To keep the home and avoid the high costs of another home, these couples choose to live together.

This option can be a tricky one to work out. However, if the couple still cares for each other and can work together to find common ground, this option can often be the best option for everyone involved, especially the children. All resources can continue to be pulled together to maintain their home and children. It can also provide an easier way for couples to save for the future and get out of mutual debt. This option allows couples to maintain a stable environment for their children, as well.

These purpose driven-marriages can work out well for couples if their goals and terms are clearly defined. For example, those who stay together to provide a stable environment for their children should lay out terms for when the marriage should be reexamined. For example, when children reach a certain age or leave for college, the terms of the marriage should be adjusted or dissolved at this point. For those staying together due to finances, there should also be benchmarks that are set that can provide more stability for both parties.

Any of these situations can be difficult for couples. However, if both parties do their best to set aside hurt feelings and look at all sides as rationally as possible, options can be found that are beneficial for everyone involved. Divorce is not always the option whenever a marriage hits a bump. Taking an honest look at marriage and each person’s needs and desires can provide couples with the information they need to come to a solution that will work for them.

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