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Legal Separation: Top 4 reasons people keep the married title

Sometimes, for some people, ending a marriage is easier said than done. Some people struggle with the emotional aspect of saying goodbye to a spouse, but others are already emotionally prepared and have been for a while. With those that really want out, what keeps some of them from taking the step towards divorce?

Four of the top most common reasons people do not want to get rid of the married title are: taxes, health care, Social Security and religion. For these issues, whether a person is in love and living with their spouse does not matter as much as whether they are able to keep the legal title. For couples such as this, legal separation provides protection akin to a divorce decree.

Money means a lot these days, and filing jointly on tax returns can help some couples literally save thousands of dollars. However, filing jointly is only available to married spouses. There is a small glitch to this in some states when it comes to a decree of separate maintenance, and so a discussion with an attorney when contemplating options is important.

The next reason is that a divorced spouse often can no longer be claimed as a dependant on a health care policy. When the spouse cannot afford his or her own health care policy or cannot obtain one due to a preexisting condition, the legal married but separated title is necessary. For Social Security, there is a 10-year minimum marriage requirement. A temporary legal separation is often a very good alternative until the 10-year minimum is met.

Last, some couples who are devoted to their religion may never consider divorce as an option. Some religions do not recognize divorce and others do not agree with the decision. Whatever your concerns are, an experienced family law attorney will help present all of your available options so that you do not have a solution but the best solution.

Source: Reuters, “3 Reasons to Get a Separation Instead of Divorce,” Andrew Chow