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Can a sleep divorce prevent a legal divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Family Law

Couples get divorced for all kinds of reasons, from adultery and financial misconduct to changing relationship dynamics as spouses age. Sometimes, health concerns or lifestyle differences put strain on a marriage that could otherwise work.

When couples live very different daily schedules or when one spouse has a health issue, like sleep apnea, that affects their rest at night, the commitment to sharing a marital bed could end up putting a lot of pressure on the couple’s relationship.

In recent years, experts have started recommending that people consider what they refer to as a sleep divorce. If snoring or incompatible schedules have made your marriage miserable, could asleep divorce help you avoid the actual end of your marriage?

How a sleep divorce works

When a couple agrees to try a sleep divorce, they will begin sleeping in separate rooms. This can allow someone who is a light sleeper or who has to go to bed very early at night to get adequate rest despite their spouse following a different schedule. Separate rooms can also be very valuable when one spouse snores or has a medical condition like sleep apnea that requires loud machinery in the bedroom.

For some spouses, the primary source of dissatisfaction in their marriage is the lack of sleep caused by sharing a bedroom. Separating spaces can allow both spouses to achieve better overall rest. Well-rested individuals are less likely to get into arguments with one another and will have an easier time maintaining a positive dynamic.

In scenarios where the main source of marital stress is a lack of sleep, then an agreement to maintain separate bedrooms could potentially preserve the marriage.

What if a sleep divorce doesn’t work?

For couples trying to work on their marriage despite currently having a difficult time with their relationship, negotiating a sleep divorce may only slow the breakdown of the marriage, rather than preventing it entirely.

These couples may benefit from signing a postnuptial agreement when they start sleeping in separate rooms. They may protect certain property or outline specific expectations for divorce proceedings. Having those discussions about what the end of the marriage may look like can be a wake-up call that helps both spouses recommit to the relationship. Even if things do not work out, they can look forward to a faster, uncontested divorce as they have already agreed to certain terms.

Considering many options to work on a struggling marriage can help those contemplating filing for divorce but not yet sure if divorce is the right solution.

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