What is an Informal Separation Agreement or postnuptial agreement?
Informal separation or postnuptial agreements in Georgia, while not recognized by the state as a legal separation, may be a good option for couples who wish to continue receiving the legal and financial benefits of marriage without living together. According to Psychology Today, a temporary separation may even make a struggling relationship stronger in the long run.
During an informal separation, some couples may pursue a divorce, child custody, or related goal, while others may wish to simply remain separated. Typically, couples without large shared assets or children, as well as situations where neither spouse requires financial support from the other, are best suited for informal separation. Benefits of informal separation include:
- Saving the relationship during the trial separation period;
- Maintaining healthcare benefits through the other spouse’s employer group plan;
- Maximizing the tax-savings benefits by filing jointly;
- Helping to secure loans and mortgages;
- Securing Social Security benefits via the 10-year requirement (according to the Social Security Administration, certain individuals can receive benefits on their ex-spouse’s record if they are divorced but their marriage lasted 10 years or longer, and they meet other criteria);
- Maintaining certain military benefits;
- Upholding cultural or religious beliefs.
If the legal separation is intended to be permanent or long-term, the arrangement will work best between couples who have ended the relationship amicably. Couples whose relationship is highly volatile may not benefit from an informal agreement.
When Informal Separation May Not be Suitable as a Long-Term Solution
Informal separation is not for everyone. A divorce may be necessary if your marriage has any of the following issues:
- Child custody, parenting plans, child support, or spousal support become contentious;
- Either spouse has financial troubles due to gambling, unexplained spending, or an addiction (lenders may come to the other spouse in pursuit of unpaid debts, which he or she could be liable for paying);
- The spouses do not get along anymore;
- One spouse wishes to remarry.