When you marry or divorce, your relationship status changes. But separation can also cause important changes you’ll want to be aware of from a legal perspective. Anytime a woman decides to separate from or divorce her husband, or chooses to save her marriage instead, legal matters can come into play.
That’s why it’s so very important to understand what causes changes to the status of your relationship and how those changes affect any legal standing you have with your spouse. Here are some of the most important things to consider.
Divorce is the Ending of a Legal Contract
Divorce ends your marriage, but it does so in a way that’s much more than just symbolic. It also ends your legal standing with one another. Marriage is a contract, and when you record a marriage license with the courthouse you make that contract legally binding. It’s a civil matter, and the contract can only be fully broken or dissolved by a legal divorce. As you move through the process of divorce there are a lot of emotions that can come into play.
While it’s important to be honest about how you’re feeling, it’s also important not to let emotion get in the way of legal issues. Stopping a divorce because of doubts or fears, for example, could mean that legal problems that are attached to your spouse also become your problems because of your joint union. Carefully consider the ramifications of remaining married, if there are financial, tax, or related issues that have prompted you to seek out a divorce.
Loving someone doesn’t make those legal issues go away, as much as people would like it to. With insurance prices and the high cost of healthcare, for example, there has been a rise in the number of couples who have divorced so they can get health insurance subsidies or so one or both of them can get Medicaid to help with a chronic illness or condition. The answers to whether a woman should get a divorce aren’t black and white, and not always related to how they feel about their spouse.
Separation Doesn’t Always Mean Completely Separate
When you separate from your spouse your relationship status changes, but your legal status may not. You can file for a legal separation, which will help reduce the potential for legal problems and entanglements with your spouse, but it’s important to remember that you’re still married. You may want to wait until your divorce is final before purchasing a house, a car, or anything else that your spouse could try to claim or take from you.
It’s important to talk with an attorney about what separation actually means, so you fully understand any legal implications of that marital status. If you aren’t sure about how that status will affect you personally, or if you have a more delicate legal situation you need to address, get professional advice. It’s much better to be safe rather than sorry, especially where legal matters are concerned.
Saving a Marriage Could Have Legal Consequences, Too
Your relationship status changes when you marry, but what about when you want to save a marriage you already have? If you’ve filed for legal separation you may have some protection against financial and other issues your spouse could get involved in. Deciding you no longer want that legal separation can mean that you’ll be liable for problems your spouse causes going forward.
You’ll generally be protected from things that occurred while separated, but talking to your attorney about the choice to cancel a separation or divorce is an important first step. There may be cases where remaining together as a couple but going through with the divorce for financial or other reasons would make sense for your situation. Since everyone is different there isn’t necessarily a right answer. But the best answer is one that comes from a place of knowledge and accurate information. For more information contact us.