Divorce does not always have a happy ending

There are many couples who on realizing that the spark has gone from their relationship make the decision to stay together for financial reasons. This may raise many an eyebrow, but it is perfectly logical reasoning, and it can work.

People are not necessarily happier when they divorce. In fact, research suggests otherwise, with a Canadian government article claiming that men who leave their marriages are much more likely to become depressed, and much-publicized research that claims that married people are not only happier than their single friends but they live longer too.

Considering the alternatives

When the time comes to consider whether to stay together for financial reasons, there is much to think about. Are you really staying together to preserve the family assets, or are there other issues at stake?

You need to calculate the exact amount of money that is at risk. Typically, older people who have been together for a long time have a lot more to lose than younger couples who would not have accumulated as much by way of assets, but also have a long time ahead to start over again. If your assets are not large, and if neither partner will be financially destitute following divorce, there really is no reason to stay together for financial reasons. This is assuming that:

  • You have been unable to rekindle the love in the relationship.
  • Your children are adult and can understand and accept your separation.
  • Your relationship will remain amicable. When you have children, this is a necessity.
  • You can agree on the terms of the divorce without requiring the courts to do it for you.

If your combined assets are substantial and registered in both your names, you will have to carefully consider the financial implications of a divorce which may result in the assets being split equally between the two of you. It may be a good idea to discuss the financial implications with an accountant or a lawyer as these things can get quite complex. There is the splitting of assets and liabilities to consider, and there may even be tax implications which you should be aware of before making the decision.  

The benefits of avoiding divorce

There may be more than just financial benefits in remaining together

  • If you have children at home it is worth considering the emotional effect of a divorce on the children.
  • By staying together, you may learn to love one another again, finding the attraction that once was there.
  • Most people are financially worse off after the divorce than before. You’ll have two homes to run. By staying together, you can continue to live at the same level of financial comfort to which you have become accustomed.
  • Divorce can be expensive, as it involves the input of expensive professionals such as lawyers and real estate agents. By staying together you’ll save these costs.
  • You and your partner can agree to pursue your individual interests in a discrete way that does not embarrass any member of the family or send the wrong message to the children.

Whether to stay together for financial reasons or to divorce is a decision that only you and your partner can make and it should not be influenced by the selfish judgments of others. If they were to find themselves in similar circumstances, the chances are that they’d do the same.

Deciding to stay together for financial reasons

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