Is it better financially to legally separate than get divorced?

If you and your spouse have reached the point in your relationship where you feel that it is best to go your separate ways, you may be considering legal separation and/or divorce. There are many circumstances under which divorce is the most appropriate option. However, legal separation can offer a number of financial incentives if you and your husband or wife is willing to remain married under the law.

Forbes discusses some of the differences between legal separation and divorce, and explains that separating can serve as a transition into divorce or be the end result for you and your spouse. Depending upon the nature of your relationship and other factors like marital debts that you may have, for instance, temporary or indefinite legal separation can be the most financially sound decision.

If you are covered under your spouse’s healthcare insurance, divorcing could compromise your access to his or her coverage. Losing your health insurance could place a real burden on your personal finances, as well as your overall health and well-being. Under such circumstances, it might be worthwhile to see if you could maintain your health coverage and be legally separated.

Another factor worth considering is how divorcing could affect your Social Security benefits. If you and/or your spouse are around retirement age, one or both of you may be preparing to collect Social Security benefits. Delaying divorce until you have been married 10 years can play a major role in the amount of benefits that you or your husband or wife could potentially draw in the future.

Choosing legal separation over divorce can also be financially beneficial when military benefits come into question. Beyond that, there are several potential tax incentives to remain legally married. Keep in mind, however, that the unique circumstances of your marriage and marital issues can play the largest role in determining whether separation or divorce is best for you. Consequently, the information provided a