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Divorce is becoming a more frequent occurrence among older people in Ohio and elsewhere in the country. It even has its own nomenclature, the gray divorce. Many divorces begin as trial separations and may end in divorce or a legal separation. For those who separate, divorce is not necessarily the end result of the separation. Some couples may choose to remain separated indefinitely.

Reasons for this decision can be many and are often financial. One reason couples who haven’t been married that long give is the 10-year requirement for certain Social Security benefits. If a couple is married for 10 years or longer there may be Social Security advantages to waiting to divorce until after the 10-year mark. Health insurance may also be a concern if a spouse is covered by an employer. There may also be tax benefits to remaining married and filing jointly.

It is important to remember that a separation does not remove the liability for household and other debts. A legal separation agreement can serve to protect both parties by clearly laying out financial obligations and responsibilities during the separation. If a divorce ensues, this agreement may help lay the groundwork for a final financial settlement.

If a person in Ohio is considering a trial separation it may be in one’s interest to speak with an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the family situation and help the client to arrive at a fair and equitable legal separation agreement. There are many factors to be considered and a lawyer can help ensure that significant details are not overlooked.