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Long-term separations and divorce

Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 10, 2013 in Property Division

Connecticut couples who are in long-term separations and putting off filing for divorce may find themselves adversely affected by failing to take action. Informal lengthy separations can cause significant financial repercussions to one or both spouses, and can affect matters including property division and future spousal support.

During a separation, one spouse has little or no control over how the other is managing assets acquired during the marriage. Those who live in community property states may be liable for a portion of the indebtedness the other is incurring. One spouse may take this opportunity to hide or deplete assets that would otherwise have been available for division in a divorce settlement agreement. Employment or other financial circumstances could change which would potentially impact future spousal or child support awards. Alimony laws could change as well.

Finally, it is important to remember that a separated couple is still legally married. If one spouse fails to report income on a joint tax return, the other spouse could face significant trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. And, of course, entering into a new relationship while one is still legally married will not usually have a positive impact on future divorce settlement negotiations with the other spouse. For these reasons and many others, it is recommended by experts that a couple considering a long separation enter into a formal agreement that contains provisions dealing with limitations on liabilities and appropriate indemnification.

A person contemplating a separation or divorce may wish to speak with an attorney who has experience in family law. The attorney may be able to help negotiate and prepare agreements dealing with property division and spousal support.

Source: Forbes, "Putting Off Divorce? Ten Ways Long-term Separations Can Do Women More Harm Than Good", Jeff Landers, October 03, 2013