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Should You Consider Bifurcation to Become Single Before Your Divorce is Finished?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2019 | Divorce

Should you consider bifurcation to become single before your divorce is finished?  Divorce in North County San Diego can take a long time.  Disagreements related to child custody & parenting time, division of a business or spousal support can substantially lengthen the duration of a divorce.

Many parties become impatient and wish to move forward with their life.  You may have heard it is possible to become legally “single” again prior completion of a divorce.  This is known as “bifurcation.”  Bifurcation is a legal term which basically means to separate the issues at hand into individual matters.

Sounds great right?  The motion for bifurcation of your divorce asks the court to terminate your marital status.  This request changes your legal status to “single” allowing you to be eligible to become remarried.  You must wait six months after the initial filing of the divorce to request bifurcation.

The real question is: should you consider bifurcation to become single before your divorce is finished?  There are important complications.  One example is healthcare insurance.  If your healthcare insurance is provided under a spouse’s coverage at work bifurcation may not be the best alternative.  This is especially true if you are in the midst of a substantial medical issue or treatment.

Taxes are another consideration.  Filing as “married” with the IRS or FTB provides some advantages compared to filing “single.”  In other cases it may actually provide an advantage.

What happens if one of the parties were to pass away after bifurcation but prior to the completion of the divorce?

This is why it is important to speak with the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq before you consider bifurcation to become single before the divorce is completed.

It may be possible to mitigate some of the concerns of a spouse.  The Court will usually ensure:

  • continued healthcare coverage for both former spouses
  • reimbursement for tax consequences or the loss to claim “family” advantages in tax, probate or a homestead exemption
  • continued indemnification against the loss of death benefits when a pension is present

Is bifurcation an option you should consider?  We invite you to contact Burke & Domercq or call 760-389-3927 to learn more or schedule an appointment.