Choose Your Own Path: Options for Separated Couples

Not all marriages end in thrown crockery and private investigators lurking outside motel rooms; most marriages end quietly, with both partners realizing they simply no longer work as a couple and seeking to separate their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Often there is even lingering affection, or at least a lack of negativity, and a continuing link through children or other shared relationships such as family and friends.

When a couple has physically separated and is contemplating a divorce, they have many options open to them depending on the level of cooperation they are capable of and the resources at their disposal.

DIY Divorce

If their financial situation is very simple and they have a high level of cooperation, a couple can attempt to secure a divorce on their own simply by preparing their own separation agreement using a template and filing with the court on their own.  This has drawbacks, as there may be issues they do not know to consider.


The couple can choose to mediate their divorce, selecting a mediation professional to help guide them through a conversation and negotiation.  The mediator should have experience preparing separation agreements and other documents.  The mediation process can be much less involved than litigation, less costly, and faster.  However, if the spouses are not able to work together to a meaningful degree mediation may not be possible.


If the spouses cannot work together effectively or if their financial and other circumstances are complex, their only real practical recourse may be litigation.  Litigation need not be negative, and is often necessary despite goodwill shared between the spouses in order to settle aspects of the shared property or assets.

Most couples can determine what route is their best option, but sometimes a conversation with a divorce professional can help assist them in choosing the best route.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.