The only difference between separation and divorce is that with a separation, you do not seek to legally end your marriage contract. In addition, New Jersey does not recognize legal separation, so it is merely an agreement between you and your spouse.
Forbes suggests you make the most of your separation and use it as a time to work on yourself and reflect on why you need a break from your marriage. It is a good time to come to a realization about why things are not working and whether you can fix them. It is also an ideal period in which to make some smart financial moves. Since many couples end up in marital trouble due to finances, this makes a lot of sense.
Avoid joint debt
While you may still have a large debt you share, such as the family home mortgage, you should avoid adding to joint debt. If you have joint credit cards, for example, close the accounts. You do not want to have your spouse create larger debts in your name during this time.
It is also a good time to establish your own finances, separate from your spouse. Consider gaining credit in your own name if everything is in your spouse’s name, for example. Start a savings if you do not already have one in your name only.
A separation is the perfect opportunity to become more aware of your financial situation. You should ask questions and dig into documentation to make yourself familiar with all aspect of your finances. This is especially true if you did not handle them prior to the separation.