Many happily married Virginia couples would feel uncomfortable asking their spouse for a divorce in order to save some money. However, there are some who are considering a divorce on paper in order to save money, especially high-earning couples who want to avoid the so-called “marriage penalty.” This applies to couples who file their taxes jointly and have taxable income in the 37% tax bracket.
In addition to saving money on taxes, there are other reasons why couples are considering strategic divorce in order to benefit financially. One reason has to do with a sick partner being able to get access to health coverage or nursing home care through Medicaid. Another financial benefit that could come from a couple divorcing is helping their children who are about to go to college receive more federal aid. With this situation, if one partner is the custodial parent and is considered to be in the lower income bracket, they are likely to walk away with more money in federal aid as opposed to a married couple where both partners are high earners.
Despite some of the financial benefits that could come from divorcing on paper, there are also many drawbacks, both financial and social. For example, a couple’s retirement benefits are likely to take a hit if they divorce. A family may no longer be able to enjoy the same health care benefits if they are under coverage from one working adult.
It is important to understand both the pros and cons of a strategic divorce before making a final decision. A family law attorney may provide more information about how a divorce would affect the couple’s finances. They may also be able to provide information about child custody, asset division and spousal support, even in divorces that are amicable.