If your marriage is in trouble, there are a few different routes you can take. Many people aren’t ready for divorce right away. It’s the most final decision that you can make. Instead, many choose to separate first. Legal separation is different than just living or spending time apart. While not a divorce, it is a legal agreement. If you are like most, you may be confused as to why someone would choose legal separation over typical separation or even divorce. Here are some benefits of legal separation.
If you don’t get a legal separation, then any debt that the two of you incur while separated will still be a part of your marital debt. This means that if your spouse uses his or her credit cards often or racks up debt while separated, you may still have to pay it if you decide to divorce. The debts would be split amongst the two of you. When you are legally separated, you don’t have to worry about sharing debt.
Joint Account Boundaries
When you legally separate, you can set boundaries when it comes to joint accounts. If you are having financial issues, then separation can provide you with a means to separate your finances, too. You can decide who will have access to which accounts. You can agree to close your joint accounts and to open up separate accounts. It is important to outline all of the rules that need to be set regarding your finances. This will protect both of you during the separation.
Continued Marital Benefits
After a legal separation, you still have some benefits. One of the biggest benefits that you can keep is your insurance coverage. Even if your marriage dissolves, you may not want to cut off those benefits. If you’re having problems in your relationship, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you want your spouse to lose his or her healthcare. Also, when you are separated, your marriage continues to count towards social security.
If you are thinking about a legal separation, then you are also going to want to talk to your family lawyer. Legal separation is a tool for couples to use who may need to separate but aren’t ready for a divorce. You may plan to reconcile with your spouse or you may not want to lose the benefits during the split.