Divorce coach Laura Miolla has an interesting piece up on YourTango about what causes — or forces, in some cases — couples to choose long-term separation over actual divorce. She writes: “Separation was traditionally a limbo period that couples experienced after they decided to call it quits and before their divorce was finalized …. Today, many people are choosing separation as a longer-term strategy — or as an end goal in and of itself.”
Two of the reasons Miolla cites as to why couples don’t get legally divorced have to do with financial constraints. First, she says, “Instability in the job market and a lack of growth in our economy have resulted in people having fewer options, especially when it comes to divorce. Money, and the lack thereof, is often a key contributor to divorce, and with the recent recessions, couples on the rocks are feeling the pinch even more. Within my coaching practice, I’ve seen a rise in couples who, although ‘separated,’ continue to live in the same house and just sleep in separate bedrooms” because they can’t afford to move out and live on their own. This situation will likely sound familiar to anyone who has ever broken up with a live-in lover in a city like New York, where finding a new apartment is not only difficult, but costly.
Miolla also notes that divorces cost “as much, if not more, than a wedding.” She writes, “Few people can easily find a way to pay their divorce attorney, especially when they are living on a single income again. As a result, many divorcing couples have opted to just stay separated until it makes better financial sense,” like after splitting the profits from the sale of their home, for example.
Divorce isn’t just a costly process, but often a lengthy one, too. If you divorce and you have children, you may find yourself in family court over various matters multiple times throughout the years before your kids graduate, which may be another reason why couples choose long-term separation over a legal split. For more on what it means to “stay together for the kids” as well as other motivating factors in long-term separations, read Miolla’s piece, “Is Separation the New Divorce?” on YourTango.
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