When you and your spouse are on the outs, it is difficult to say what you want to happen next. If one or both of you is not sure about divorce, then there are a couple of other options, such as a trial separation and a legal marriage separation. However, you should know that regardless of which of these two options you choose, there are still financial responsibilities attached. If you want to know more, the following is provided.
At this point, you and your spouse are just taking a break from each other. There really is not a lawyer involved, or any court documents or hearings. Both of you have decided to step back from your marriage, but not from your commitment to each other. One of you will move out of the marital home to live somewhere else, possibly with family or friends, or in a hotel for a while. Some couples take turns not residing in the home so that the kids can get used to the idea that one of you may not be living there anymore if you eventually decide on a legal separation and/or divorce. In the meantime, all bills to which both of you are responsible have to continue to be paid. There is no legal enforcement for this (unless your creditors sue), but leaving the bills unpaid may only further negatively impact your relationship with your spouse.
A legal separation involves a lawyer and a court hearing. You and your spouse go before a judge to explain that you cannot live together, and that you may want a divorce. Until you and your spouse have decided that divorce is the only option, the court satisfies a writ of separation. One of you moves out of the marital home for at least one year (in some states, it is two years).
You can revisit the option of divorce at any time during the separation. In this situation, you can make a formal request that you and your spouse share equal financial responsibilities in regards to the children and the children's needs, and that any and all bills in both your names be paid on time every month so that the other person's credit history and finances are not harmed or damaged by lack of action on the first person's part. You will need to involve legal separation attorneys to keep things fair.