If a divorce with your spouse is inevitable, you may be dreading having to deal with dividing your assets. That said, there can be some financial benefits from getting legally separated before the divorce is made official. Here are several reasons to consider it.
Being Protected from the Other Spouse's Debt
If you decide to legally separate from your spouse by filing a written agreement with your local court, it will give you some much-needed protection from new debt. Part of the agreement will be to list existing debts that you obtained as a couple so they are clearly identified. Once the separation is filed, you will not be legally responsible for any new debts that your spouse incurs during the separation. The same can be said of their not being responsible for your new debts as well.
With a divorce potentially being finalized many months from the filing date, you need to protect yourself from bad financial decisions your spouse makes when you cannot make them as a couple anymore.
Staying on Existing Health-Insurance Plans
When the divorce is finalized, you'll each need to acquire your own health-insurance plan since you can no longer get the benefits of a family plan. A legal separation will still allow you to stay on the same health-insurance plan until then. This can be beneficial if you've already reached the limit of your deductible or can get a lower rate as a couple.
Receiving Social-Security Benefits
A married couple must be together for 10 years in order to receive the social-security benefits from a spouse after reaching after reaching the age of 62. If you are close to being married for 10 years, it may be worth it to delay the official divorce with a legal separation. As long as you remain unmarried, you can continue receiving social-security benefits through a former spouse.
Filing Taxes As a Married Couple
While this benefit can vary between each state, it's possible that a legal separation can allow you to still file your taxes as a married couple and receive the tax benefits of doing so.
Legally separating not only gives you these financial benefits but also gives you some much needed time apart to think clearly about a divorce. It helps you better prepare for making a final divorce agreement or potentially reconsider the idea of divorce entirely. For more info on the benefits of legal separation, speak with a lawyer from a firm such as Haslam & Thorne, LLP.Share