Those going through a divorce readily acknowledge the impact that this life-changing event can have on their lives, and financial issues are often at the top of the list. The decisions you make now, during your divorce, can continue to affect you and your children for a very long time, so keeping a tight rein on your finances is vital. You can employ a useful legal means to help ensure that your financial situation is kept as secure as possible. A legal separation agreement, if used wisely, could help pave the way for post-divorce financial well-being. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using a legal separation agreement during divorce for financial reasons.
You can use a legal separation agreement to cover nearly every aspect of a separation that a divorce could cover, including child custody, visitation, and even child support. The family courts make an effort to ensure that minor children take a top priority, so child support orders handed down in connection with a separation agreement are binding. This monetary help for your children could make a huge difference in your financial situation.
Use the separation agreement to put a legal barrier between your marital debt and your separation debt. In some states you could continue to be responsible for your spouse's debts even after you separate. Since divorces can sometimes take months to become final, your financial situation could be worsened by accumulated debt from your spouse that you could end up being partially responsible for paying off.
Health Care Coverage
Include a provision in your separation agreement that covers health insurance for you and your children, unless you have your own coverage. Many people that use their spouse's heath insurance are caught unawares when they suddenly find themselves removed from the policy. Being able to stay on your spouse's plan long enough for you to arrange coverage for yourself will prevent unwanted medical bills from piling up.
Social Security Benefits
Did you know that you must be married for at least 10 years to be eligible for your spouse's Social Security benefits? With a legal separation agreement in place, which can temporarily take the place of a divorce, you may be able to extend your marriage to the 10-year point, especially if you are close to that point already. For spouses married at least 10 years, you may be entitled to earn one-half of your spouse's retirement benefit monthly, once you both reach retirement age. This valuable benefit is available even if your spouse remarries (but not if you remarry).
To learn more about how a legal separation agreement can benefit you, consult with your divorce attorney.