Sometimes, married couples go through a rough patch in their marriage. While this is normal, there might be instances that the rough patch turns into a bigger burden for both of them, affecting their relationship with each other and their family. If a married couple is struggling to maintain a commitment to their marriage but doesn’t want to get a divorce right away, a trial separation can be their best option to test the waters and for them to try to fix their marriage one more time. This article will guide you about trial separation and how to agree.

3+ Trial Separation Agreement Samples

1. Trial Separation Agreement Template

File Format
  • MS Word
  • Google Docs
  • PDF


2. Trial Separation Agreement

File Format
  • PDF

Size: 20 KB


3. General Trial Separation Agreement

File Format
  • PDF

Size: 167 KB


4. Trial Court Separation Agreement

File Format
  • PDF

Size: 42 KB


What Is a Trial Separation?

A trial separation is an agreement between spouses where they spend time away from each other to work on their marriage issues and themselves. It is like having a time off for their marriage. The couple will agree on a timeframe in which they will be separated from each other but remain legally married.

Many couples prefer this arrangement before making a big leap towards legal separation or divorce because it doesn’t have any legal impact on their marriage or property rights.

How to Make a Trial Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a written document signed by married couples that describes the rules, timeline, and expectation of their trial separation. The agreement can help eliminate any confusion on anything regarding their agreement and helps them both stay on track.

1. Discuss With Your Partner If You Need to Make an Agreement

Although not all couples need to agree, some want a structured written agreement regarding the timeline, rules, and overall reason for the marriage split. Discuss with your partner if you mutually agree to have a trial separation and have a written agreement to organize your rules and timeline of your separation.

2. Discuss the Details to be Included in the Agreement

If you’re sure to make a trial separation agreement, it’s time to agree. The agreement differs for every couple since the details in it will depend on your agreed rules, goals, and expectations as a couple. These are the most common things that a trial separation consist of:

  • Who will stay in your home and who will move out (or live in the home’s spare room),
  • Who will take care of the expenses of the marital home including the rent, mortgage, utilities, and maintenance,
  • Who will take care primarily of the children and when  and will they spend time with each parent,
  • How to divide the joint assets and the bills,
  • How often will you communicate with each other especially if one spouse moves out of the house,
  • Where to seek professional help to work out on yourself and your partner,
  • The end date of your separation (especially helpful if you plan to get back together)

3. Sign the Agreement

Once you’ve written the agreement, both of you need to sign the agreement in front of a notary public. Acquire a copy for you two.


What are the benefits of a trial separation?

It depends on how the couple benefits from the separation. Some couples find it beneficial because since they are legally separated, it is easier for them to reconcile after being away with each other to work on their issues and themselves at a distance, it the couple doesn’t have to go through premature divorce filings, it let both spouses know what it’s like to live separate lives from each other if they proceed with the divorce.

What should you not do during separation?

There are some important things that one should not do while on a trial separation. Don’t get into a new relationship with a new partner since this will be considered cheating and your partner can press legal charges against you since you’re still legally married, don’t rush to file a divorce and sign those papers while you both have not mutually agreed to do it if you have kids, don’t bad mouth your spouse in front of them, never deny your spouse the right to co-parent your kids.

Does separating help a struggling marriage?

A trial separation can strengthen a marriage only if it’s done for the right reasons and if they have a clear agreement from the start. If they maintain a healthy communication, seek professional help, and both are willing to work to save their marriage they can effectively work on their issues and reconcile.

Once you’ve reached the end of your trial separation, discuss with your spouse what will be your next decision and plan. If you plan to reconcile, congratulations! You have gone through a lot but still maintained your marriage stronger than ever. However, if you both agree that this is the end of your marriage, your trial separation may turn either into two ways; legal separation or divorce. Remember, being legally separated is a different legal status from being divorced; you’re no longer married, but you’re not divorced either, and you can’t remarry. So decide with each carefully on which you will pursue. Dissolving the marriage is a sad and painful process, but for some, it is the best way to move forward and make their lives better apart from each other. If you need some help making your trial separation agreement form, download our free sample templates above to use as your reference!

Related Posts