Melinda L. Singer, Esquire
Hackensack Family Lawyer
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The benefits of legal separation

A legal separation can not only compromise an individual's emotional and physical wellbeing, but also potentially change the status of home ownership and other financial aspects. In New Jersey, a legal separation agreement entails a spousal agreement that covers the period between separation and divorce.

Similar to a divorce, a legal separation is a contract outlining child custody and asset division. The difference is that in a legal separation, a couple is still considered legally married. A legally separated couple may choose to follow through with the divorce at a later time. The reasons spouses choose to legally separate instead of divorce range from moral and religious reasons to financial and government benefits. Some individuals believe they may resolve existing issues before reaching the point of divorce.  

Additional Reasons for Separation

Many couples choose the legal separation process over divorce for financial reasons. A Forbes article explains in detail why property can make legal separations difficult, and that if a couple buys a home after marriage, the house is considered marital property. Forbes points out that in New Jersey, if the property is marital, then both parties have equal rights to buy-out the other's share. If both parties make this type of claim, the property is sold with the net realized proceeds of sales divided.

Financial Protection    

According to lifestyle resource Live About magazine, a legal separation can come with numerous financial benefits. Among the top benefits are tax advantages, in which spousal payments can be claimed as deductions on tax payments, the retaining of certain marital benefits and clearly stated boundaries regarding joint accounts. In addition, a legal separation can protect individuals from being responsible from debt that a spouse may acquire during the period of separation.  

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Melinda L. Singer, Esquire
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Melinda L. Singer was selected to the 2017 & 2018 Super Lawyers list. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Melinda L. Singer was selected among the Top Lawyers in Bergen County by (201) Magazine in 2013, 2017 & 2018. The list of Top Lawyers in Bergen County was compiled from the results of a peer-review survey, conducted by Professional Research Services (PRS) of Royal Oak, Michigan. According to (201) Magazine’s website, “[t]housands of attorneys throughout Bergen County were contacted by PRS and asked who they would recommend within the county in given areas of law.” For more information on the criteria for being selected as a Bergen County Top Lawyer, see *No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The lawyers nominated to (201) Magazine were included in the lists with those names, and do not suggest that the lawyer has that attribute.