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3 important steps for those considering a sleep divorce

On Behalf of | May 6, 2023 | Family Law

A sleep divorce occurs when a married couple that has previously shared a bed and a bedroom decides that each spouse will sleep in separate rooms. Oftentimes, either opposing schedules or sleep disturbances are the underlying cause of a sleep divorce.

If, for example, one spouse’s third-shift schedule or very loud snoring prevents the other from getting adequate rest, nighttime separation may be the best way to resolve the matter without actually ending the couple’s relationship. Those who are preparing for a sleep divorce in the Brambleton area and throughout Virginia will often benefit from taking all three of the steps below.

Establishing rules with one’s spouse

A sleep divorce won’t be very helpful if one spouse still manages to disrupt the rest of the other. Therefore, having rules about household chores and entertainment, as well as hosting guests that reflect both spouses’ schedules may be necessary to optimize the effectiveness of a sleep divorce. Additionally, once spouses start staying in separate bedrooms, they may need to have certain rules in place for both personal privacy and transparency in their relationship.

Addressing the possibility of failure

A sleep divorce is often the last-ditch effort to reduce the tension in a relationship caused by sleep disruptions. Couples may need to put together a postnuptial agreement now while their relationship is still in a positive place so that they have a better chance of working cooperatively through the sleep divorce. Many people who negotiate postnuptial agreements discussing expectations for the marriage and the outcome of any future divorce will actually have an easier time working on their marriage afterward. If the sleep divorce does not resolve the issues in the marriage or at least alleviate them, then the couple will have the framework in place for a faster, less contentious and less expensive uncontested divorce.

Giving the process time to make a difference

Changing one’s living arrangements and daily schedule will require some adjustment. Rather than leaping to the conclusion that the sleep divorce was not effective when neither spouse notices an immediate change in their mood or rest levels, it is likely necessary to commit to the change for a set amount of time. Two to three months might be the minimum amount of time that people will take to adjust to a new schedule and a new space or a drastic shift in a room where they have slept for years. It is only after people truly become accustomed to the new arrangements that they can then objectively evaluate them to see if they have improved their relationship or their mental health.

Taking thoughtful steps when using an approach to avoid divorce proceedings can help people increase their chances of success and protect their interests at the same time.