If you are contemplating a divorce you have likely thought long and hard about the idea of living life without your significant other. Some of these thoughts may lead you to postpone your divorce, and decide on a legal separation. Living apart from your spouse with no foreseeable end can be a regrettable financial mistake.
Separating briefly after a heated argument is common and understandable. Being separated and living apart can work for a while, especially if you both have a good job. However, the following eight important financial reasons may sway you to follow through with a divorce, or reconcile rather than remaining legally separated:
You do not have control over the marital assets.
By living apart from a spouse, you may completely lose track of the family’s finances. Not being around your spouse means that he or she could be earning and spending without your knowledge. By living in California, any debt that your spouse tacks on during your separation is considered community property. Not knowing how the marital assets are being managed can land you in financial ruin if you prolong a separation.1
Your spouse can hide assets during a long-term separation.
Even if you do not feel like a divorce is necessary and a long-term separation is working, your spouse may feel differently. He or she could be using the time during your separation to begin hiding certain valuable assets. Therefore, during divorce proceedings, your spouse will have an advantage.
Your spouse’s financial situation may change, which leaves you with less.
If your spouse was the financial breadwinner during the marriage, his or her financial circumstance will determine most of the divorce settlement. During a long-term separation, your spouse’s financial situation may change. He or she may become ill, go on disability, or lose his or her job.
Your divorce settlement is based on the current financial situation of both parties. If the breadwinner is your spouse and he or she runs into financial suffering, this will affect your child support and alimony.2
Your spouse could leave the state or the country.
The laws governing divorce can be very different from state to state. During a long-term separation, if your spouse decides to divorce you, he or she may first decide to move to a state that has more favorable divorce laws.
For example, some states restrict the amount and length of time that a spouse can be ordered to pay alimony. If your spouse becomes a resident of a state that has such restrictions, it will severely hurt you financially once the divorce is filed.3
You or your spouse may meet someone new.
During a long-term separation, it is easy to imagine a situation that you or your spouse meets someone new and starts a relationship. If all of this happens while you are still legally married, it can hurt you during the settlement negotiations. Even if it is your spouse who starts a new relationship, remember that he or she could be using up the marital assets on his or her new partner.4
Alimony laws may change in your state.
By prolonging divorce, you risk having your alimony affected by changing laws. California could very well reform alimony laws and there is a chance that this would hurt you during the divorce negotiations.
Your standard of living may change.
When you are separated from your spouse, your standard of living will likely be reduced. This is because you are no longer living on dual incomes. Unfortunately, this can harm you during the settlement negotiations because your husband could argue that you have been able to live just fine on this lower standard. As a result, you may be entitled to less in alimony and child support.5
You could be liable for your spouse’s legal trouble during a separation.
By staying legally married, you put yourself at risk harming your financial security. If your spouse is involved with any financial crimes, your assets are all at risk. You can avoid this by beginning the divorce process as soon as possible. However, a written separation agreement can also limit your liability for your spouse’s financial wrongdoings. Your skilled attorney can help you determine what your best options are.6
Call the Divorce Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich Today
You may want to prolong the separation with your significant other for many reasons. The emotional connection with your spouse as well as your nervousness regarding the divorce process may lead you into a never-ending separation. An experienced and skilled divorce attorney will help put you at ease and ensure that you are making the best financial decision by getting a divorce. The attorneys at Wallin and Klarich have been successfully handling divorce cases for over 30 years.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, one of our knowledgeable attorneys is available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
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