A legal separation is an option that can be pursued by married couples who no longer desire to live together. In a legal separation, couples retain their marital status while they are living apart from each other. Many couples choose to pursue this option for a variety of reasons. If you are on the cusp of a divorce, you may be wondering if legal separation is a better option for you. Legal separation has many benefits and advantages that may appeal to you and your situation.

Financial benefits of legal separation.

Perhaps the most appealing reason couples decide to obtain a legal separation is for financial benefits. First, you can only file taxes jointly if you are married. Many couples choose a legal separation when their income amount gains greater benefit from filing jointly. Another financial advantage of legal separation is the insurance benefits. In a divorce, the non-employed spouse is usually dropped from the insurance coverage right when the divorce is finalized. In a legal separation, a spouse can retain the benefits of the working spouse’s health care plan. Finally, couples who have been married for ten years or longer are eligible to receive military and Social Security benefits. Some couples choose to legally separate in order to keep these benefits intact.

Legal separation is a way to “test drive” divorce.

Legal separation allows couples to test the waters of divorce before making an irreversible decision. Legal separation is like hitting the pause button on your marriage. It is a great way for couples to figure out where they stand in their marriage. The separation allows time for both parties to either resolve their differences and reconcile, or finally settle on divorce. Separation gives each party the space needed to work through the emotions and logistics of this difficult decision.

Religion and legal separation.

Though you and your spouse may no longer wish to remain married, keeping those vows you made on your wedding day may be important to you. Some choose to get a legal separation as a personal preference. They may be personally against divorce for a number of reasons. Others choose legal separation over divorce due to religious beliefs. Within some religions, divorce may be forbidden or unrecognized. Couples can obtain a legal separation for the sake of their religion.

Legal separation allows time to resolve property, assets, and debt.

Legal separation allows time to outline all of the rights, responsibilities, and arrangements for your family prior to filing for divorce. During this time, many couples choose to divide up shared property and make arrangements for asset and debt allocation. This period of time also allows for couples to arrange for the legal help they will need.

While you are contemplating divorce, you may be wondering if legal separation is a better option for you. There are many reasons couples choose to separate including financial or religious reasons, being able to “test drive” divorce, and allowing time to resolve property, assets, and debt. There are several advantages to choosing a legal separation. Legal separation is a good alternative to consider for couples who are uncertain about divorce. If you are considering legal separation reach out to us at The Ault Firm to talk about your options.