Top 5 Legal Reasons to Stay Married

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 14, 2011 9:46 AM

Love is not always sunshine and roses. Many marriages often lead to bitter disputes, and unfortunately, divorce. But, for those who don't necessarily want to call it quits, what are some reasons to stay married and not get divorced?

Okay, there are the generic reasons. Maybe you're still in love with your spouse. Maybe you think you can work through your problems. Maybe you want to stay together for your kids.

But, there are also some legal reasons that you may want to consider.

  1. Property division can be messy, and expensive. Are you sure you want to go through the time-consuming (and expensive) process of separating all of your combined assets?
  2. Did you have a prenup? Say you were prudent before getting married, and got a prenuptial agreement. Prenups are essentially contracts that lay out how assets will be divided when you get divorced. Sure, it'll conveniently divide up the assets, but maybe the actual terms of the prenup are enough to make you want to stay married.
  3. Think about if you have enough for child support, and if you want to have custody. If you have children, and you were the primary breadwinner of the family, you may owe child support to your children both morally and legally. And, if you have children with your spouse, one contentious issue may be who will get custody of the children - and what kind of rights will the other spouse have.
  4. On top of that, think about if you have enough for alimony. Alimony and child support are two different payments. Alimony is usually paid to the spouse. You may owe alimony if, again, you were the primary provider of the family.
  5. What about health insurance? If you are covered by your spouse's health insurance, if you get divorced you may no longer be covered by your ex-spouse's health insurance. Sounds like common sense, right? But, if you have a pre-existing condition, it can be much more expensive and difficult to find adequate health coverage after divorce.

Of course, this list isn't an exhaustive list of all the reasons to stay married and not get divorced. And, to many, the non-legal reasons, like love and family, might seem to outweigh the legal reasons against divorce.

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