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3 questions to answer before suggesting a sleep divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Family Law |

Small issues can snowball into major complaints during a long-term marriage. For example, sleep disruption may seem insignificant initially. However, after years of living together and sharing a bedroom, a few small disruptions each night can add up to chronic fatigue.

The spouse suffering from compromised sleep may grow to resent the other spouse. The issues they have at night can boil over and cause conflict during the day. Sleep divorce has recently become a trendy solution for the nighttime challenges of cohabitation. Before someone suggests a sleep divorce to their spouse, there are a few questions they’ll need to consider about their desire for a sleep divorce.

Is the suggestion practical?

If a couple has recently moved into a one-bedroom retirement home that is only 800 square feet, a sleep divorce may not be a realistic solution. The same might be true of a married couple with small children who need to occupy the other bedroom in their home. Generally speaking, proposing a sleep divorce is only a viable option if there is adequate space to accommodate separate sleeping quarters for each spouse.

Does the issue require a permanent solution?

Perhaps one spouse recently developed an upper respiratory infection. They may have begun snoring or tossing and turning while they sleep at night. Those issues can be very stressful for the other spouse but are unlikely to cause lasting issues for the couple. On the other hand, a diagnosis of sleep apnea might mean a lifetime of compromised sleep for the other spouse. Generally speaking, sleep divorces are likely only necessary in cases where sleep disruptions may persist indefinitely.

What if the sleep divorce doesn’t work?

For some couples, sleeping in separate bedrooms can quickly alleviate the pressure on a relationship. When both spouses get adequate sleep, they may cease arguing with one another during the daytime. For other couples, sleep disruptions are only one of several issues straining the relationship. People have to consider the possibility that a sleep divorce may not resolve their disputes with their spouses.

Some couples may end up headed to divorce court even if they begin sleeping separately. In such cases, drafting a postnuptial agreement when arranging for the sleep divorce could be a smart decision. That way, couples set themselves up for a less contentious divorce if the sleep divorce doesn’t resolve their marital challenges.

Considering the practicality of a sleep divorce and what happens if it doesn’t help may benefit those who are frustrated by their current sleeping arrangements. Negotiating a postnuptial agreement can be an important component of an effective sleep divorce. The process of evaluating a marriage and talking about the real-world implications of divorce might help people refocus on the status of their relationship.