Why would women in particular choose to remain married rather than to get a divorce? The biggest reason often centers on money. Sometimes a legal separation can be a good financial decision. Here are some of the potential benefits:
• If a marriage has lasted at least 10 years and the spouse has not remarried, she may qualify for social security benefits.
• By remaining married a woman can continue receiving health benefits from her husband’s insurance.
• There may be some tax benefits by continuing to file a joint tax return.
• There may be ways to pool resources such as continuing to live in the same home, but maintaining separate areas.
• Sometimes there are other reasons to remain married such as religious backgrounds that don’t allow divorce.
Having a legal separation agreement is important when the decision is to remain separated for a long period of time. Without a formal agreement, you will remain liable for your spouse’s debts and legal issues even though you aren’t living together. A creditor can legally come after you for any debts not paid by your spouse. A written separation agreement would indemnify you against those debts that are acquired after the separation.
A formal separation agreement will clarify issues such as; how will you share marital assets; how do you handle joint credit cards; who pays maintenance and how will you distribute assets acquired during the separation? These are important issues that need to be handled properly by your family law attorney.
As time goes by communication between spouses that are separated may not be easy. Feelings change and cooperation may not be there as it was in the beginning. Having a legal agreement that gives you access to ready assets may be important when you need to pay bills. It can also make things easier if the time comes to move from separation to divorce. When you have everything spelled out in advance, it can be the foundation of your divorce agreement.
Your family law attorney can guide you with the laws in your state regarding legal separations. Some states require a legal separation before you can file for a divorce; other states recognize a legal separation agreement, but do not require it, some states neither recognize it nor require a legal separation.
In San Diego, Daniel Williams is a Family Law Attorney with broad experience in this area and is well qualified to help you determine the best course of action for you to follow. You should never try to make such an important decision such as this without good legal advice. The wrong decision could have bad consequences for you. Remember, good advice doesn’t cost, it pays! For more information visit: http://www.danwlaw.com