A variety of sources put the divorce rate in the U.S. for first marriages at about 50 percent. As relationships fall apart, divorce can seem like the only solution. Still, a number of Americans are trying alternate arrangements to stem the tide of their domestic difficulties, without actually terminating their marriage.
Though family law is different among the states, in some places, couples looking to end a marriage are able to separate without actually filing for divorce.
However, according to the New York Times, the details of separations are rarely spelled out in a legal contract, meaning that estranged couples remain bound by taxes, pensions, Social Security benefits and healthcare.
Some couples are able to work around the contractual links. For instance, a separation agreement can be designed so that a spouse keeps his or her partner's insurance until he or she is old enough to qualify for Medicare, says the news source.
Fifty-eight-year-old John Frost recently moved to Tennessee from Virginia, leaving his wife of 25 years behind, rather than file for the divorce that the couple had discussed.
"When people ask about my relationship status, I usually just say: 'It's complicated. I like my wife, I just can't live with her,'" he told the news source.