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(MORE: How to Tell Your Adult Children You're Divorcing) The Ties That Bind?According to Tessina, the most common thing that keeps people together is money — or more to the point, the lack thereof.Fear of losing her home was Marcy Blume’s motivation.“It sounds silly, but I knew that when Jim and I truly divorced, unless I won lotto or something, I’d never have as nice a kitchen again for the rest of my life," she confides.Ian and his former wife, Karen, continued to live in their spacious house for two years after they decided to divorce.Now remarried, Ian says the arrangement was, on the whole, a success.They no longer wanted to be buried next to each other, but neither wanted to sell the adjoining plot to the other.“In the end, we sold to someone else in the town, got a good price and divided the money equally," she says.
Often they have been married for 20 or more years and jointly own a home and other valuable assets, says Tina B."It took time for Karen to re-establish her public relations career to a point where we could both afford new homes we loved," he says."We also needed to get used to the idea that even though our marriage failed and we were no longer living the suburban dream, we had not failed as people and we had not failed our children.” The Hidden Costs While many “separated” couples decide to stay together because they believe they’ll save money, sometimes the reality is precisely the opposite, says Nicole Sodoma, a family law attorney licensed in North Carolina and Washington.Until legal proceedings have begun, each partner is liable for the other’s debts — both from past plus any new ones.
In extreme cases, one person might empty joint bank accounts or transfer shared property ownership into his or her own name.
“Something that really hung us up was what to do with the burial plots,” says Britt Danforth, who continued to cohabit with her estranged husband for nearly two years after their emotional connection and sexual life ended.