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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Trial Separation

Term Definition Trial Separation - when a couple lives apart trying to decide whether to reconcile or divorce.
Application in Divorce Very often couples who cannot get along decide to live apart for a time to clear the air. Trial separations, as they are called, sometimes work and sometimes donít, but when a couple separates on this basis, it may or may not affect their property rights, depending upon the length of separation and activities. As a rule, a couple separated on a trial basis enjoy the same legal rights as married people living together. Money and property are still considered jointly owned, according to the rules of the state of residence.

Trial separations are often "informal" in that there is no written separation agreement.

If a couples decides that the marriage is over, the trial separation becomes a permanent one, that is, a breach with a firm date of separation and a period of time that is preliminary to a divorce.

See also Permanent Separation; Legal Separation.

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