When legal separation may be a good alternative to divorce

Making the choice to end a marriage is never easy. Couples in New Jersey who do come to the conclusion that a marriage cannot be saved must wrestle with many emotions as well as logistics. Some people who know their marriage is in trouble but are not yet ready to be divorced may seek a legal separation. With a separation, a couple remains legally married but lives separately.

An article on WAHM.com notes that by filing a separation, couples can take some additional time to determine if getting divorced is what they need or want to do. It can, in a way, take the pressure off and avoid a knee-jerk decision that is later questioned by one or both partners and leave the door open for a possible reconciliation. However, this is not the only benefit to seeking a separation agreement. According to Forbes, there may be financial benefits to a separation that would not be possible with a divorce.

It is common for the couple’s health insurance to be provided through only one spouse’s employment. Getting divorced severs the coverage for one spouse. If that person does not have access to equivalent coverage or other coverage is too expensive, remaining married can help to carry over this benefit. Sometimes, spouses determine that it is less expensive to stay married and even live in the same home than it is to maintain two residences.

Other people look down the road and know that if they stay married for at least ten years, they can claim Social Security benefits based upon their partner’s earnings if they meet other criteria at the time. A marriage of nine years that is in trouble may be extended to pass the 10-year mark in order to potentially qualify for this benefit later on.