For many couples considering divorce, separating from your spouse can seem like the logical first step. While separation is not required prior to divorce in Virginia, separating may help you be better able to start figuring out what your life will look like once the divorce is finalized. And, depending on the relationship you have with your spouse, you may be able to work out many of the terms of your divorce during your separation. But there are a few key things you’ll want to avoid doing during your separation that your Virginia divorce lawyer wants you to be aware of.

separation in virginia

Don’t Date Without Considering the Consequences

Dating when you and your spouse are separating is not illegal, but it’s not something you should do if you can help it. When you date during your separation, the courts may view your requests more harshly and you could complicate any custody arrangements you and your spouse may otherwise have agreed to. 

Before you start dating, carefully consider how dating someone other than your spouse may impact your situation. Remember, many couples end up getting back together during the separation after realizing that their relationship can be salvaged. If you’re dating someone else, you may derail that possibility entirely.

Don’t Indulge in Retail Therapy

It’s normal to want to make large purchases as a way to cope with your impending divorce. However, that doesn’t mean you should. Doing so can put a strain on your finances, making it harder for you to maintain your lifestyle as you wait to start the divorce proceedings. Further, when you spend a lot of money during your separation, you may be held liable for the premature distribution or dissipation of assets. This can impact the amount of money you’ll receive when the settlement goes through. 

Instead, try to hold off on making large purchases until the divorce is finalized. If you can’t, you may want to make an agreement with your spouse indicating that you both agree that the purchase was necessary. Your total settlement amount may be reduced, but if both parties agree to the expenditure, the courts will likely be more forgiving.

Don’t Vent on Social Media

Going through a divorce can be stressful at best. This leaves many people tempted to vent about their spouse and their situation on social media. Try not to at all costs. When you vent about your spouse on social media, that information becomes public. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rumor or the truth. The courts may use those comments and status updates against you in your divorce. 

If you need to vent about your spouse, keep it offline and avoid writing your complaints down unless you’re doing so by the request of your Virginia divorce attorney. 

Don’t Give up on Co-parenting

Co-parenting during a separation is one of the best things you can do to help your children better prepare for and adjust to the divorce. But it’s not always easy. You and your spouse have to work together even when you’re in disagreement over aspects of your own relationship. 

Try to be cooperative if you can. Work out a co-parenting agreement at the beginning of your separation. Then, do what you can to follow that agreement. This can help you and your spouse figure out how you want to parent your children once the divorce is finalized. 

Consult With Your Virginia Divorce Lawyer

Getting separated may not be required to file for divorce in Virginia, but it can still be incredibly beneficial for both you and your spouse. Just make sure you avoid acting in ways that could negatively impact your divorce. If you’re not sure how a certain action might influence the type of settlement you’ll receive or the way the court will view your requests, speak with your Virginia divorce lawyer.

AC Rieman is here to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today. 

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