Filing for a divorce is one of the biggest decisions a married person will make. Clearly, it is not something I can tell you to do or not to do. However, I can share with you the advantages and disadvantages of the decision. It may often appear that a client should seek a divorce, but then the decision has so many parts to it that clearly I cannot presume to know enough from one initial meeting with a client.
An advantage of filing is that you bring to an end a marriage that has failed. Regardless of who or what caused the break-up it will end when a final judgment is issued. For a person that is no longer in love or has found someone else a divorce is the only way that the person can end the marriage so that remarriage becomes an option.
Additionally, the filing of a summons for a divorce will create (for most assets) a date in which the accumulation of marital assets and income is ended. Monies received after the filing are generally separate property. There are exceptions, but they would have to be discussed in a different blog.
In contested cases, the filling will allow the clients to get a judge involved in their case to help restore order if chaos has become the norm. Parenting schedules can be established,
support obligations can be determined, use of the house, cars and other valuable items may also be determined.
Advantages of NOT filing for a divorce include that the marital partnership continues. There is no demarcation line of assets and property acquired since there is no filing. If a person is worried that if a divorce is granted they will lose health insurance coverage need not worry because the family plan still exists.
Each party retains the right to inherit from their spouse as the law provides certain protections for a spouse of a person that has died. Life insurance, if not changed, remains as does the survivor rights to jointly owned property. The survivor now owns 100% of joint property. Other assets are not divided or distributed.
Married couples can still file joint tax returns and save money.
So, in short there are many, many reasons for both decisions of which only some are discussed in this blog post. Which one is right for you will depend upon your unique situation. Obtaining a consultation is an easy way to find out how the law will be applied to your situation.