It depends entirely on where you live, and if you want to – or even can – file for divorce on fault grounds.surprised when her best friend’s parents, Marcy and Jim Blume (last names have been changed), announced they were getting divorced.
Divorce isn't for everyone--at least not immediately.For any number of reasons, spouses might want to live separately for a while before taking the final step to officially terminate their marriage.This is usually true even if you have filed for a legal separation.You can also collect Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s contributions if you have remained married for 10 years or more without divorcing.This doesn't mean you can't separate if you live in one of these states.
It just means courts in these states will not issue a judgment of separation, so you'll have to create a separation agreement instead.
In this case, the financial impact of staying married for so long without a legal agreement in place might be mitigated.
The court might mark the cutoff date for acquired marital property and debt as the time you established separate residences.
Your spouse is also entitled to his share of any property you acquire on your own during your informal separation.
When one of you files for divorce and asks a court to distribute marital property, some states will look at the circumstances and acknowledge that you did not intend to remain married after 14 years apart.
Unless you or your spouse files a legal document with the court, such as a settlement agreement to finalize a legal separation, the court isn’t aware that you’re no longer residing as a married couple.