Healthy Boundaries After a Separation

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, meaning that couples must wait a year and a day to file for divorce. This year can be a confusing and troubling time, as you are still married but are expected to live separate and apart from one another. This is much easier said than done, as life is fluid and we fondly remember the good times. Or sometimes you simply miss your former partner and want to get back together. Reconciliation is not at all uncommon.

However, when you have made a final decision that you want a divorce, it is important to take a thoughtful approach to staying separated and limiting your contact with your former partner. Follow these suggestions to establish and enforce healthy boundaries.

  • If you don’t have a separation agreement, speak with an attorney. A post-separation agreement provides clear, legally enforceable terms regarding property division, living arrangements, spousal support, child support, child custody, and visitation. This agreement can provide structure, predictability, and specific terms of contact between separated spouses. Further, the issues that are settled in the agreement are issues that you and your spouse no longer have to consistently fight about during your separation period.
  • If you have a separation agreement, review it with your attorney and make sure that you consciously follow its terms. This is especially important regarding any conditions and limitations on contact with one another. Failure to do so will just open you up to further contact through legal proceedings.
  • Speak to a counselor or seek a support group to gain acceptance and insight into the fact that your relationship is over. It can be incredibly helpful to find supportive people who can guide you through your emotions and developing a plan to limit communications with your former partner.
  • Limit your contact and exposure to your ex, including your social media contacts. This means creating clear rules about the circumstances in which your spouse can contact you. If you do not have children together, there is little reason to have continued contact unless you have plans to reconcile.
  • If you have children, use a third party adult or professional visitation service to supervise and facilitate visitation. This will reduce or eliminate the opportunities to see one another in the emotionally-charged context of child custody.

Let New Direction Family Law Assist You

New Direction Family Law offers legal guidance to people involved in separations, divorces, and child custody disputes. For years, our attorneys have provided thoughtful, relevant legal advocacy. We pride ourselves in operating with integrity and compassion. If you need help, contact our office today. We serve Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.