Most couples who go through the marital dissolution process do so because their relationships are not working out as they had hoped. There are, however, more couples choosing to end their marriages for tax and other financial benefits. This is called a strategic divorce, and it is an option for Pennsylvania residents who believe it is best for their family’s needs. Still, it is not something a couple should rush into without understanding the potential ramifications.

There are many reasons why a couple may wish to file a strategic divorce. They may have a sick child who, because of their income level, does not qualify for financial assistance. One spouse may become ill and require long-term care, but this spouse may not qualify for Medicaid while married. They may have one or more children ready to go to college but financial aid is out of reach due to their marital income level. Finally, they may simply wish to cut their tax liability.

Whatever the reason, yes, divorce can help one achieve the government assistance, financial aid or tax relief desired. However, doing this can also affect retirement savings, increase insurance costs and affect business interests — among other things. Before signing divorce papers, it is wise to calculate potential savings and compare that to the potential losses associated with ending one’s marriage. In some cases, the cost of divorce is higher than any savings that may come from it.

Why a couple chooses to file for divorce is personal. No one can say if they are right or wrong in their decision. That being said, Pennsylvania residents who are looking at ending their marriages may want to make sure they are not rushing into the dissolution process without really considering how divorce will affect them now and in the future. Legal counsel can answer any questions one might have and, if divorce is pursued, help one achieve the best settlement terms possible.