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Marital Separation - Pros Vs Cons

Marital separation is an option where married couples live apart yet they make agreements on how they will manage their affairs as well as their properties. Marital separation is not a divorce.

For those who still have hopes on fixing their marriage problems, this can be an opportunity to sort things out while giving each other space.

However, marital separation also poses its share of risks as much as it gives many positive benefits. So you need to be careful. 

5 Benefits Associated With Marital Separation

Benefits include:

  1. Time to think: It allows married couples to contemplate on their relationship, giving them time to think and value the relationship while they are away from each other. Being apart can make people realize that the marriage can still be fixed and that maybe they should try to work things out again.

  2. Separate without guilt: It allows them to be apart from each other without having to carry the guilt of trespassing any moral, ethical or religious principles regarding marriage and divorce.

  3. Insurance convenience: It can allow a spouse to keep on receiving insurance coverage from the other spouse’s provider. Since neither spouses worked to legally dissolve their marriage, one can still benefit from insurance coverage of the other. You will need to check this with the insurance provider however.

  4. Tax convenience: Couples can usually retain their tax benefits from being a married couple if they are legally separated but not divorced.

  5. Other financial convenience: It can allow one spouse to qualify as a beneficiary from social security and other pension allowances of the other spouse before the divorce is finalized. Even if spouses do not live together anymore, one spouse may still benefit from the other spouse’s social security or other pension benefits. They usually only cease to receive such benefits when the divorce is finally settled.

4 Risks Associated With Marital Separation

Some regard marital separation as a complicated solution to marriage problems. They would rather opt straight for a divorce or annulment rather than experience the following:

  1. Marital separation prohibits remarriage: In the course of time when one or both partners finds someone new, they cannot marry their new partners unless they formally get a divorce first.

  2. Issues regarding division of property: Couples who signed a contract for separation dividing their properties, can often have these contracts enforced upon them at the divorce stage. Therefore care needs to be taken when they are initially drawn up.

  3. Insurance issues: In the event of legal separation, some insurance policies are selective and do not continue to provide insurance coverage to a spouse. You will need to check this with your insurance provider.

  4. Debts: Each spouse is liable for the payment of the couple’s debts. If the couple has entered into agreements together like housing or car loans, they are both held accountable for paying these debts.

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