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Should Californians stay in a long-term separation, or divorce?

When something in a marriage goes wrong, it is understandable for a couple to want to spend some time apart to decide whether they want to attempt to reconcile or end the union. However, when it seems like reconciliation is not going to happen but the couple has not started the divorce process, long-term separations can cause problems for both parties. California long-term separations can cause financial problems as well as unhappiness for both spouses.

One of the first financial aspects of long-term separated living that may begin to weigh on both spouses is how the other is spending marital assets. Without the legal documentation that a divorce would grant, if each spouse is still legally married, then each has no way of knowing or controlling how the other is spending assets. Living separately also gives each spouse a window to try to hide assets from the other, creating more problems once the divorce process has begun.

Living separately also means that one spouse's financial situation could drastically change when he or she is forced to support his or her self alone. Either spouse having a lower standard of living or incurring other financial problems such as debt can affect how much either party may be awarded in the divorce. Also, living separately could mean moving to another state, and different states have different divorce laws concerning elements like alimony and child support, creating even more problems.

If the couple would get a divorce, then the property distribution would be outlined and each would no longer have to worry about how marital assets were being spent. Separating spouses would also be able to close this chapter and move on with their lives and find happiness. California couples facing these circumstances may benefit by gaining an understanding of their rights and responsibilities under our divorce laws as they attempt to reach a settlement that is truly in their best interests.

Source: Forbes, Putting Off Divorce? Ten Ways Long-term Separations Can Do Women More Harm Than Good, Jeff Landers, Oct. 3, 2013

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