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Thinking About Ending Your Marriage? You May Want to Consider Legal Separation

Those who have already made the choice or are considering ending their marriage may want to consider the benefits of legal separation. There is a widely accepted belief that legal separation is just a "divorce trial phase" so-to-speak rather than an actual, permanent solution.

The truth is, while many people do use separation to see whether or not divorce suits them, legal separation can be a viable option for couples who no longer want to live together as a married couple, but do not want to completely divorce either.

An article in Forbes weighed the financial benefits of choosing legal separation over divorce. Some of those benefits include:

Social Security Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), spouses must have been married for at least ten years to benefit from his or her spouse's social security benefits. A divorced spouse or legally separated spouse, if they are not remarried, can receive these benefits once they hit age 62.

Health Insurance Benefits
Spouses can benefit from each other's health insurance. One reason spouses may not want to legally divorce is if they're using their husband or wife's health insurance benefits, which may be better than their own (provided that they have their own provided by their employer).

Marital Tax Benefits
There are many benefits to filing jointly on your tax return. By choosing legal separation, spouses can still file their taxes jointly.

Military Benefits
Spouses of military members, so long as they remain married to the military member or veteran, can benefit from spouse military benefits.

Legal separation is a viable option if:

  • Both you and your spouse agree (If your spouse does not agree, they can file for divorce whether you want to or not)
  • You do not plan on getting remarried (legal separation could still be an option until you choose to remarry)
  • You and your spouse both find it more convenient to remain legally married but separate.

The California Courts recognize legal separation as one of the three ways to end a marriage: 1) divorce, 2) legal separation, and 3) annulment. To learn more about your options regarding legal separation, contact a Riverside divorce attorney at Diefer Law Group, P.C. today.