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Could Living Together Before Marriage Mean You’ll Pay Alimony After Divorce?

The Micklin Law Group-Could Living Together Before Marriage Mean You’ll Pay Alimony After Divorce?

No one wants to pay alimony, but it can be a reality for many people going through a divorce. Alimony payments can be costly and add up over time. In this post we’ll discuss how living separately before marriage can help you avoid paying alimony in your divorce, and you’ll be on your way to keeping more of your hard earned money. 

Single or Engaged? Consider Living Separately 

In my experience, living separately has several benefits that you should consider. First let’s talk about why it may be an issue. When you live together before you get married, you may start commingling finances or relying on other people’s finances for your lifestyle or to support children from a previous relationship. You’re often creating a marriage-like relationship even though you’re not in a marriage. If you subsequently get married and then divorced, it raises the question: when did the marital unit really begin? Because you may have been living like a married couple but not married, one spouse may have quit a job to raise a family. You may have started taking out mutual debts, or maybe somebody went to school and took out loans before being married; it blurs the line of when all of this started. So, similar to a prenup, living separately until you’re married keeps the issues from getting convoluted during the course of your marriage.

A Clearly Defined Marriage

Whereas with a prenup you spell these things out before you get married so you know what will happen during divorce, living together only after you get married puts kind of a line in the sand of when the financial relationship between you two began. I think that’s helpful not just in a divorce, but it’s also helpful when you’re getting married and starting a family and learning how to handle joint finances. Knowing that you started making those joint decisions only when you got married makes everything more clear. Hopefully it also allows you the opportunity to talk about these issues before you get married, move in together, and start commingling your finances. This all ties into alimony because when it comes time to negotiate during a divorce you’ll be able to say very definitively that you only combined your finances after getting married, meaning you had fewer years where one of you may have supported the other. In addition, it may show that the other person was clearly able to support themself right up until you got married, meaning they have the ability to do that again after the divorce. 

If you have questions about alimony or would like to create a prenuptial agreement, which I always recommend to clients who are worried about having to pay alimony in the event of a divorce, please contact our office for a consultation. The Micklin Law Group’s attorneys focus on men and fathers who are going through a divorce. Husbands are often more worried about having to pay alimony than their wives; this is likely because men have traditionally been the ones to pay alimony. However, times have changed, and there are many completely lawful things we can do to help you avoid paying alimony. You can call our office at 973-562-0100.

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