Could You Be in the 20%
Separation often offers a couple a respite or time out providing a window, or cooling-off period, to explore options for saving the marriage. Some couples consider separation as a time to have (additional) marriage counseling or to explore other possibilities to help them decide which path to take. And statistically, 20% of separations successfully move through the separation period choosing not to get divorced or formally separated. It is important to note that a “legal” separation is truly no different than a divorce. Most steps in obtaining a legal separation are no different than divorce.
But with the knowledge that 80% of separations end in divorce, perhaps the separation was just a stopping place delaying the process. According to research by William J. Doherty, PhD at the University of Minnesota, as many as 62% of both ex-husbands and ex-wives said they wished their spouses had worked harder to save the marriage. Only about a third of respondents of each gender thought that both ex-spouses had worked hard enough.
Some going through separation report feelings of loneliness. In fact, according to a study conducted by Page’s and Cole’s research, “Demographic Predictors of Self-Reported Loneliness in Adults”, about 30% of separated individuals say they are lonely compared to only 20% of those divorced. Separation without divorce holds much uncertainty for the future, which can lead to a feeling of aloneness. A divorced individual has accepted the inevitable and often taken steps to move toward a new future where a separated individual is still trying to figure out if divorce is the right path.
Almost half of those who separate remain so for at least a year before divorcing. For some it is the time that is needed to adjust to the new normal and start to think about a new beginning.
Facing Unfortunate Odds
For many, asking for a separation is a soul-searching and deep experience. And those odds show that 80% of those going through a separation will end up planning for a divorce.
If after time and reflection during the separation period divorce becomes the final decision, it does not matter who files first for divorce. California is a no-fault divorce state and community property is always split in half, no matter who filed for the divorce.
If you have questions about the divorce or legal separation process, our Irvine Family Law attorneys at Buncher Family Law are available for a customized discussion by scheduling a Clear Legal Strategy meeting.