Some couples opt out of divorce, choosing instead to separate unofficially. This may seem like a good idea to some as it saves couples from having to undergo divorce proceedings, but more often than not it is more costly than beneficial. Not only can unofficial separation lead to increased emotional strain on couples, as well as possibly proving harmful to children who lack proper custody arrangements, but it can also be very expensive in the long run.
Rhode Island residents have probably learned of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's divorce, but they may not be aware that the couple had been separated for about two years. Kutcher and Moore recently finalized the divorce, one that was pending for nearly a year. Such a delay may have caused both parties severe emotional strain and cost them a significant sum of money. Though the terms of the divorce are confidential, sources claim Demi Moore gave up her request for spousal support.
Delaying divorce can sometimes result in spousal support arrangements that are not ideal. In addition, a delayed divorce can complicate issues involving marital property division, possibly leaving spouses with less support than they would otherwise be awarded. Without the aid of a legal professional who can guide couples through the divorce process, it is possible that a person's legal rights may go unprotected.
To help avoid these complications and have a better chance at a smoother separation, couples should begin divorce proceedings as soon as they decide their differences are irreconcilable and they must live apart. Divorcing, rather than unofficially separating, helps couples ensure their legal rights and their children's best interests are protected.
Source: USA Today, "Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore divorce finalized," Maria Puente, Nov. 27, 2013