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The benefits of taking a break prior to filing for divorce

Every marriage goes through its ups and downs. In cases where a marriage is dominated by conflict and unhappiness, some couples choose to take a break and physically separate for a time. Time spent apart often provides clarity related to why a marriage isn't working and can help spouses make decisions that will ultimately benefit both moving forward.

While it may seem contrary, in some cases, spending time apart may actually help a couple reconnect and become closer. Some spouses may come to realize that the source of their unhappiness isn't related to a husband or wife at all or that life without their spouse is not what they want. In these cases, a couple may be able to reconnect and work together to make positive changes to their relationship and marriage. In other cases, however, time spent apart provides an individual with the time and space to realize that a marriage is not working.

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. However, if an individual discovers he or she is actually much happier being separated from a spouse, it's important to acknowledge those feelings. For many couples the decision to divorce doesn't result from just one problem. Relationships are complex, especially those between spouses where matters are often further complicated by finances, children and changing life goals.

Individuals who choose to divorce shouldn't feel as though they somehow failed or took the easy way out. In reality, the opposite is true. It's often much easier to stay in an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage than to admit things aren't working and take steps to find one's own happiness.

Couples who do decide to divorce after spending time apart are also likely to have taken time to contemplate many of the issues that cause conflict during divorce. For couples who wish to avoid what can become a lengthy and contentious divorce, mediation and a collaborative divorce is often an attractive option to resolve issues related to child custody, dividing assets and spousal support.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Taking a Break: 8 Reasons Why It's More Effective Than a Band-Aid," Tinatin Japaridze, March 28, 2014

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