Breaking up can be cheaper to do

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Middle- and upper-income couples in marital discord might want to check out a money-saving strategy that many low-income divorce candidates have used for some time—nondivorce.

Couples in agreement on most things are holding off on legal divorce—or for-going it for religious reasons—but still untying the knot. Here’s how it works: Couples who want to split can go to family court for child custody, asset and debt division, and spousal support but stay married, even live under the same roof, if they want to save money, explains Brette Sember, a retired divorce attorney and author of “The Complete Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide.”

Note that as far as creditors are concerned, both spouses still are responsible legally for the debt. However, if the court has made the husband, for example, responsible for the mortgage, and he doesn’t refinance it to get the wife’s name off and subsequently defaults on payments, the wife has the legal right to sue him for the amount of the debt, Sember explains.