In the modern era, couples who might otherwise dissolve a marriage are turning to informal separations to avoid the headaches and heartaches perceived to be part of a formal dissolution. However, many experts agree that divorce may be preferable to simply living apart for the long term. This is of particular interest to Connecticut women, who may be disadvantaged by such an arrangement if a divorce eventually occurs.
Living apart may mean not dealing with a significant other, but it also means that spouse is operating with no supervision or surveillance. Depending upon the state, debt accrued by that spouse during an informal separation may be the joint responsibility of the other spouse to pay back. Even in states where this is not the case, any debt accrued on joint accounts will become the responsibility of both parties.
Living separately also gives the other spouse occasion to hide or otherwise reallocate assets, which can play a role in asset division should a divorce come to pass. Similarly, the longer a separation goes on, the more one’s cost of living changes to reflect a lower standard than what might have been enjoyed in the marital home, which means alimony payments could also be lowered — or non existent. Perhaps most importantly, however, is the fact that a separation does not represent a true annulment of the marriage, and it can prevent one or both parties from moving forward with new relationships and a new life.
Divorce is not a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination, but in some cases, it can be preferable to the alternative. Connecticut women may gain by learning more about their rights and responsibilities under state law and consider the benefits of divorce as a more permanent alternative to an informal separation. This may go a long way toward protecting assets and securing a happier future.
Source: Forbes, Putting Off Divorce? Ten Ways Long-term Separations Can Do Women More Harm Than Good, Jeff Landers, Oct. 3, 2013