[Guest Post] Separation or Divorce: Beginning of the End or a New Beginning? by Amy Sara Cores, Family Law Attorney

Today we have an excellent guest post from Amy Sara Cores, a family law attorney and an avid writer for various legal publications.


It is important to honestly say that separation, whether legal or physical, does not always result in divorce. There are times when separation can renew commitment and forgiveness. In several instances, couples resort to separation with hope to save their marriage. At times, this works. Besides, just being away from an antagonistic, painful situation can provide you with a sufficient view to reconcile weeks or months after and organize things out.

In other marriages, separation, compared to divorce, has become a permanent habit. In fact, there are couples who remain legally separated but are still married for 25 years. The woman can live happily in her own house or apartment, read books during daytime and spends nights with her new lover. The man, on the other hand, enjoys a city life in a penthouse, runs a prosperous business and has different monogamous relationships that are not successful when he declined to settle down. He has an impeccable excuse. He is still a married man. For this couple, divorce does not provide anything good. It will only destroy their joint fortune and lessen the money that they have for their kids.

Preamble to divorce

Separation can serve as the first step to the journey of living separate lives. Although not really irrevocable or permanent, separation can allow the couple to have a feeling of what it is like to live separate from each other. They can have a taste to manage separate finances, separate selves and separate households.

If you resorted to separation, never make yourself believe that it is a process to heal your breaking marriage because it is not! Being separated for the reason of obtaining space may only make you realize that keeping the space is better. An ideal way to fix a breaking marriage is normally living under the same roof.

Many times, separation is the preamble to divorce, although it was not really your plan. There are couples who choose to have a long distance relationship in order to gain perspective. The decision to separate was helpful for a woman to get her own job somewhere else. For a man, it became a way for him to feel resentful, especially if he was used to having his wife dependent on him.

As a step prior to divorce, being physically separated has emotional and legal implications that every couple needs to know. Decisions made while separated usually become stamped in a rock, and any couple separating without the proper protections and strategies can suffer disagreeable consequences for years. Truly, the legal agreements made for separation cannot be re-discussed for the divorce.

The emotional state of your breakup and, by extension the separation can influence the legal effects of the divorce. Separation is a natural overwhelming and turbulent period that causes itself to abrupt decision brought by emotions, such as anger and guilt.

One who wants the split will be more prepared

Divorce is a complicated, long process that needs careful preparation. Before jumping into this phase, you may consult with a financial and legal professional and if possible, read books on the subject.

Think of the proper time for the separation: Is you husband’s bonus already coming? Are there other windfalls on your husband’s way? Never plan for the separation until these arrive because it will be a conjugal property.

Also, it is important to secure copies of all your finances before you start with the divorce. Obtain clear copies of all loan applications, financial statements, tax returns, brokerage statements, banking information, real property deeds, car registration, insurance policies and inventories, credit card statements and many others. It is also important that you copy records that can be of use to trace separate properties like gift or inheritance. These properties will remain your properties so long as you can prove it.

Now, if your husband has a business and it generates a lot of income, get the service of a forensic account to search for significant signs of added income. Remember, if you want to split up with your husband, it is vital to be more prepared.

Pick your battles carefully

This is advice that is always thrown around in divorce cases, and it is actually wise, though confusing. Now, how will you know which battle is worth fighting, and which is not? When faced with this question, it is ideal to have an idea on what is really significant.

Other than fight for your children, what else should you fight for? You can consider your family inheritance like jewelry that was given by your deceased mother, or the vintage car you inherited from your grandfather. Before reaching a final negotiation with your soon-to-be ex, take a look at the properties you have in your house and know if they have sentimental value worthy to be kept.

Self-worth is normally something that couples give up while on the process of divorce. By letting the other spouse push you into a fight and badmouthing each other in the presence of your children, you are already sacrificing your self-worth.

Lastly, the battle to save your friendship is not worthy to fight for. When two people separate, they usually would try to involve their friends into it. That is usually because between couples are their friends. When the divorce takes place, couples tend to isolate themselves from the friends of their ex. This should not be the case.

A separate peace

The goal of all divorcing couples is to finalize the process as amicably and quickly as possible. Well, who does not want an amicable settlement right?

In the process of divorce, there are plenty of options. You can battle and litigate it in court. If your case is simple, you can settle it yourselves. You can work with a team of people to interfere in the proceedings, or you can opt for mediation.

Take time to do a research on all possible choices. Choose which one is likely to make the divorce proceedings as peaceful as you want.

Author Bio: Amy Sara Cores is one of the attorneys at Cores & Associates, L.L.C. a New Jersey-based family law firm dealing with child custody cases. Graduated from Florida State University (FSU), she is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers & certified by the Supreme Court of NJ as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a part of various Bar Associations. Apart from her educational background, Amy's has achieved many awards right from year 2008 and was featured in the Super Lawyer’s Magazine in the year 2015. Amy also writes for various legal publications and is a regular speaker at seminars to educate young attorneys.

Website: http://amysaracores.com/nj-child-support-case-info/

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.