A legal separation is a contract between two married partners, who need to live separately under a contractual agreement. A couple may choose to have such an agreement as opposed to divorce for various reasons. After all, it is possible to reconcile after living separately since the union is not terminated.
Legal separation should not be confused with couples living casually apart. In Tennessee, you will have to file for the process through your separation attorney. The process is similar in some respects to divorce, as outlined by the family law in Knoxville.
Despite popular belief, separation is not necessarily cheaper than divorce. Here are some of the many reasons why people choose this option:
The number one reason why people file for separation instead of a divorce is for financial planning. An estate planning attorney will assist the couple on how to share their liabilities. A formal process will outline how marital assets are to be shared, what to do with credit card debts, etc.
Sometimes couples have not decided on whether or not to pursue a divorce. Planning with a legal separation attorney can help both parties avoid liabilities such as credit card debts. In Tennessee, the proceedings will take about 60 to 90 days.
Health insurance is another reason why couples opt for a separation agreement. If you share a policy with your partner, getting a divorce will terminate this agreement. On the other hand, if you have an agreement and are living away from each other, the insurance company cannot touch your policy, ensuring that both of you are covered.
Social Security and Tax Benefits
A couple that has been married for at least 10 years can choose to separate to take advantage of social security benefits. Couples may also stay together to wait until the dependent partner can take full advantage of social security. The dependent spouse can benefit more each year if they wait until past their retirement age. For example, if you are 62 and are eligible for social security benefits, you can wait until age 70.
Separation also makes it possible to file joint tax returns. Additionally, under the U.S. Federal Estate and gift tax law, you can transfer assets to your spouse. The unlimited marital deduction protects property by allowing assets to be shared with surviving spouses without incurring tax liabilities.
You can also pool some of your resources together, such as the house or car, to minimize costs. However, tax and property laws can be complicated. It is advisable to consult your separation attorney to streamline the estate planning process.
Contact Your Separation Attorney Today
Are you thinking about filing for legal separation? It is advisable to consult your separation attorney in Knoxville to make the most of the process. Rely on the professionalism and experience of Samuel Tipton Law to help.