The divorce process happens gradually, over the course of a months. Even fairly simple, uncontested divorces cases take time. At some point after you file for divorce, it may occur to you that you are in a transitional period, still married but separated from your partner. This time can bring with it some feelings of insecurity and financial problems, unless you take the time to make an agreement that covers the transition with some legal provisions. You and your children need protection and support, so read on to learn more about the importance of making some financial decisions now, before your divorce is final.
Protect Yourself from Debt
If you don't make some decisions about dealing with debt now, you could find yourself paying some of your ex's credit card expenditures. No matter how your state deals with the martial estate (either community property or equitable distribution), you can nip problems in the bud by declaring a virtual line in the sand to prevent further accumulations of debt being your responsibility.
Give Yourself Time to Decide on Health Care Coverage
Many couples find that it's less expensive for them both to be covered by an employer's health insurance plan, but splitting up could put those plans in jeopardy. While you still have access to the plans on the healthcare marketplace through the Affordable Care Act, you can review and choose a new plan based on premiums, deductibles and more. Since divorce is considered a "life change", you can do so even if open enrollment is over. Be sure, however, not to leave yourself or your children without coverage for even a moment. Make provisions for continued coverage from your spouse's plan until you get covered by another plan.
Give Yourself a Better Retirement
Not only are legal separation agreements good for making provisions during separation, they can also allow couples to delay the actual divorce. Why would you want to delay the divorce? Timing is everything, so some couples want to wait until their child is older, or for other reasons. With an agreement in place, it can act almost like a divorce decree, at least for the time being. One good reason to stay married a bit longer has to do with your Social Security retirement fund. If you and your spouse are married at least 10 years, you are entitled to one-half of your spouse's monthly allotment.
For more information about making your legal separation agreement, talk to a professional such as Timothy W Hudson Attorney.