If you and your spouse have decided to live apart for a while, a free marriage separation checklist can help you both take care of important issues. Don't let the upheaval of separation disrupt your life. Learn how to manage your new situation in a way that satisfies everyone.
Who Needs a Checklist?
Occasionally, a marriage separation causes very few changes in both parties' lives, but most of the time it comes with a heaping dose of chaos and extra expenses. If you have children, limited financial resources or an abundance of debts, you may benefit from using a checklist to guide your new living arrangements. Other reasons to use a checklist include keeping track of appointments or visitation, managing your time, tracking unusual costs and gathering data in case a divorce becomes imminent. Even people who have it together emotionally and financially find checklists for separation a useful living tool.
Free Marriage Separation Checklist: Common Elements
When most people first hear about a separation checklist, they have a hard time imagining what it might contain. The beauty of using such a form as an aid to surviving separation is that the list can contain whatever you wish. You can use it as an easy way to remember important things or as a detailed guide for helping to stay on track with your life.
Separation Planning Checklist
It may sound strange, but some couples plan the details of their separation just as they might plan the aspects of a divorce. In most cases, people who turn to separation are working towards repairing their relationship and a checklist helps them plan a way to live apart while still working together. Typically, this type of checklist addresses decision-making about how both parties continue to function within the family. The following list contains items that appear on many free marriage separation checklists:
- To make the separation informal or legal (some states do not award legal separations)
- Decide living arrangements such as who will move to a new residence and who will remain in place
- Making arrangements for primary (usually temporary) custody of the children
- Make visitation agreements on a schedule that involves both parents
- Decisions about child support and spousal support (which party will pay, the amounts, the frequency of payments, etc.)
- Splitting up the debts and assets, if necessary
- Laying down mutually agreeable rules about dating
- Setting a length of time for the separation
- Arranging a meeting schedule for both parties to discuss marital issues
- Making an inventory of belongings, real estate property and joint or separate assets
If you like the idea of a separation checklist, you may be able to use one that is already laid out with everything you need. Even if you don't find one that addresses all your needs, you might find some with items you hadn't considered before. The resources below can point you in the right direction and perhaps help you find a checklist that works for your family.
- Find Law Separation Checklist: Provides checklist advice for financial and custodial issues.
- Find Forms: Search a database of free and low-cost premade forms for divorce and separation.
- Massachusetts Divorce Separation Agreement Checklist: A comprehensive list that pertains to formal and informal divorce separations.
Separating from your spouse is difficult and confusing, but a free marriage separation checklist can help you and your spouse stay focused. The less time you spend trying to organize your altered living arrangements, the more time you'll have to repair your broken relationship.