Some couples who are seeking to end a marriage may face certain barriers when trying to divorce. Individuals might attempt to avoid divorce for a number of reasons, including religious beliefs and a desire to give the relationship time to work, and in some cases, a couple might be barred from applying for divorce. For example, couples that have been married for less than a year are not allowed to fully dissolve a marriage. Those couples might choose to pursue a judicial separation instead.
Although such arrangements can be made informally, separating couples gain an advantage if they document agreements concerning property interests, division of material possessions, support payments and childcare obligations, and submit the agreement to the courts. This allows both parties to understand their rights and obligations concerning their relationship more clearly, and a legal separation agreement can be amended later if circumstances change.