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Old 06-27-2016, 12:41 PM   #21
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If you are married and living together, how could you be "legally separated?"
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:42 PM   #22
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You go to the courts and file for it. Legal separate and physical separate are not mutually inclusive. Although it protects you if buying insurance from the exchange, you are not protected if routed to Medicaid in most states (if not all) for the first 60 months
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:49 PM   #23
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Believe me, DH and I have considered it. He's 15 years older and we really got socked with taxes (including on his SS) before I retired. He has chronic health issues that make it unlikely that I'll be impoverished while he lingers in a nursing home for 10 years, so we're unlikely to go ahead with it, but I can tell you that if I outlive DH I will not remarry, even if I find another good man. Too many government-mandated entanglements.


You do need to look at the list of benefits of marriage posted above. Some can be restored with the proper legal documents (right to make medical decisions, right to inherit property, etc. Some, of course, such as Spousal and Widow/Widower SS benefits cannot. Every situation is different.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:52 PM   #24
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Even as an agnostic divorcee who plans to never marry again, I find the idea of divorce solely for financial gain to be pretty crass.
I can barely imagine my reaction if I was deeply religious and commited for life to a wonderful man through the solemn and heartfelt vows of marriage.

Others disagree. Shakespeare reminded us "This above all: to thine own self be true." I think that is good advice.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:01 PM   #25
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Back in the late 70's, a couple (both high earning lawyers as I recall) got married in a church with a huge fancy wedding, a real society affair. They then proceeded to file as single. The IRS somehow got wind of it and sent a notice for significant back taxes since at that time two single high earners were much better off than as a married couple. The couple fought the notices and ended up in court. The IRS lost when they couldn't show that the couple were legally married! Apparently, they talked to their priest and came to the realization that if they were "married" in the church in a spiritually valid ceremony, but never applied for or filed a marriage license, the great State of New York wouldn't recognize that they were married! Apparently it saved them several $100ks in taxes!
A few years later, the tax laws changed and they had a small civil ceremony to get the tax benefits and protections for their family. Tax avoidance is good, evasion is a felony!
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:37 PM   #26
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Apparently, they talked to their priest and came to the realization that if they were "married" in the church in a spiritually valid ceremony, but never applied for or filed a marriage license, the great State of New York wouldn't recognize that they were married!
I'm very surprised by this. I'd heard (from clergy) that it was illegal for them to perform a valid marriage ceremony and not report it to the state. My grandpa tried when he remarried after being widowed and the priest wouldn't do it, so they got a church ceremony and she lost her widow's pension from her first marriage.

DH and I ARE deeply religious and our union in the eyes of God and the church is for keeps. We never wanted the state involved in our religious rite in the first place and if it were advantageous to get the state out of the equation we would.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:54 PM   #27
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I'm very surprised by this. I'd heard (from clergy) that it was illegal for them to perform a valid marriage ceremony and not report it to the state. My grandpa tried when he remarried after being widowed and the priest wouldn't do it, so they got a church ceremony and she lost her widow's pension from her first marriage.

DH and I ARE deeply religious and our union in the eyes of God and the church is for keeps. We never wanted the state involved in our religious rite in the first place and if it were advantageous to get the state out of the equation we would.
I think anyone can send in $15 and get a certificate that allows someone to perform a marriage. I am not 100% sure the process, but it doesn't have to be in a church, or even religious.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #28
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reminds me of this court case involving pilots


BROWN V. CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: IS A FRAUDULENT DIVORCE A VALID WAY FOR A PLAN PARTICIPANT TO MANIPULATE THE PROVISIONS OF ERISA? | Smith | Journal of Law and Family Studies
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:56 PM   #29
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I think anyone can send in $15 and get a certificate that allows someone to perform a marriage. I am not 100% sure the process, but it doesn't have to be in a church, or even religious.
you certainly can in Colorado
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:00 PM   #30
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You go to the courts and file for it.
Apparently filing for "legal separation" is a state specific thing and not recognized in some states.

Florida Legal Separation Vs. Divorce | LegalZoom: Legal Info
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:04 PM   #31
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Why would this not be considered fraud?
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:18 PM   #32
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Why would this not be considered fraud?
No. Divorce is legal, even if for convenience. Just as marriages for convenience are. Or not getting married for convenience.

As long as any questions to any forms for assistance are answered truthfully, there is no fraud. Fraud is lying about your situation, or not being truthful.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:20 PM   #33
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I think anyone can send in $15 and get a certificate that allows someone to perform a marriage. I am not 100% sure the process, but it doesn't have to be in a church, or even religious.


I agree and I have no problem with a civil rite with no religious context. What I oppose is the state attaching obligations to a religious rite. I'd love to see a system in which you MUST have a civil rite in order for your marriage to be recognized by the state, but a religious rite alone has no legal implications. You want the legal/state implications, you go to a notary afterwards. If you don't, you get the religious ceremony alone.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:23 PM   #34
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Why would this not be considered fraud?
People actually do divorce and reconcile, I've known three couples that did. Two remarried the other didn't.

I also know a guy who divorced so his "ex" would get half his profit sharing. They cashed out of 50% of all his retirement paying the 10% penalty! They planned it, Big_Hitter's post talked to that situation.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:24 PM   #35
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Probably best to stick to the original thread topic and skip the church - state discussion.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:32 PM   #36
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No. Divorce is legal, even if for convenience. Just as marriages for convenience are. Or not getting married for convenience.

As long as any questions to any forms for assistance are answered truthfully, there is no fraud. Fraud is lying about your situation, or not being truthful.
Really, really fine line here. I think if you do it to gain government benefits as the OP stated, then you could say a fraud has taken place. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:40 PM   #37
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I proposed this to my wife and she declined my proposal. I didn't do it on one knee, so perhaps that was the missing ingredient this time around, as last time I bent on one knee for her she said "yes".
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:18 PM   #38
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Really, really fine line here. I think if you do it to gain government benefits as the OP stated, then you could say a fraud has taken place. Just my opinion.
If the program allows it, it's OK. The five year look back period for medicaid being one. People transfer assets all the time and wait 5 years.

Most government agencies have thought about most of the ways to get around the system. The marriage/divorce thing has been thought out many times.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:27 PM   #39
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But OP is concerned about the cost of CA tx. I don't propose divorcing, transferring assets, then waiting 5 yrs for tx
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:36 PM   #40
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But OP is concerned about the cost of CA tx. I don't propose divorcing, transferring assets, then waiting 5 yrs for tx
Enlighten me, as I can't decipher all your abbreviations in posts: what does "CA tx" stand for?
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