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Why is it important to file for divorce at an appropriate time?

Divorce can be emotionally stressful and agonizing since it signifies the end of a long relationship. Couples who spent a considerable amount of time together and had been married for a substantially long period need to make many tough decisions before they can be confident in their decision to separate. They need to take care of their finances, division of assets and possibly child custody issues before they can finalize their divorce.

Couples who have been married for a long time but have reached a decision to separate, may consider staying married until 10 years of their marriage. Financially, being married for 10 years on paper before ending the marriage may make sense, at least in a legal sense. California courts consider marriages of 10 years or more as "long-term" marriages. In case of long-term marriages, courts usually order a higher amount of spousal support for a longer duration.

Since a 10 year marriage is considered serious enough to allow the lesser earning spouse to claim federal benefits, the lesser earning spouse is entitled to social security benefits in such cases. Being married for more than 10 years may also have a psychological satisfaction associated with it, with couples able to acknowledge that they have completed a decade of togetherness before deciding to part ways.

Sometimes, a prenuptial agreement provides specific terms in the event of a divorce. Such terms often include providing mandatory spousal support depending on the assets and earning of the wealthier spouse.

Often high-profile couples make joint announcement of their separation. This makes easier for the court to determine the date of separation, which is essential to determine the value of existing property interests of each spouse. If you are married nearly 10 years, it may be wise to wait for the completion of 10 years before going for divorce, as it can prove beneficial financially for one of the spouses.

Source: Forbes.com, "Why Did Ben Affleck And Jennifer Garner Wait To Split Until After Their Tenth Anniversary?" Jeff Landers, July 15, 2015

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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