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Will the new healthcare law impact divorce rates?

When a couple has decided that it is time to end a marriage, there are various routes that they can take to accomplish this goal. One common first step is to obtain a legal separation to set preliminary provisions for separate lives and assets, as well as child custody and support. Legal separation is often seen as the first step towards divorce, yet a surprising number of couples remain legally separated for an extended period of time without moving to secure a finalized divorce decree.

This can put families in a little bit of a legal limbo, but people do it for many different reasons. One reason is often financial, since it can be costly to split up assests and smooth out other legal bumps that occur when a divorce is finalized. In the case of health insurance coverage, a spouse who no longer works or who does not have a policy through their job might want to stay married to maintain coverage through their spouse.

This is a choice that many people make because getting an individual insurance policy can be very expensive and difficult without the benefit of the bargain that employers are able to secure for their employees. However, under the new healthcare law this will change as individuals will be able to buy a policy through an exchange.

For those who are unfamiliar with the exchange system, it is a way for people to buy an individual insurance policy with the benefit of collective bargaining and discounts offered for large groups buying insurance together.

As one reason for maintaining a legal separation instead of obtaining a divorce melts away, do you think there will be more divorces in Louisiana?

Source:, “Divorce Wave to Follow Obamacare Rollout?” Janice Fioravante, Sept. 30, 2013.

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