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I had a friend who worked in research in Washington, d.c., and his wife did research in Chicago, IL. She was upset over the marriage penalty, and they got a "Divorce Of Bed And Board." I had never heard of it, but it seems they could then file separately with the IRS but not marry someone else.

Correct. That term "divorce from bed and board" is an old one I hadn't heard in years, but I gather it was once used here (Wis.) too. It's just another term for a legal separation. And yes, it qualifies you to file as single, and may qualify support payments as taxable/deductible alimony.

They eventually got a real divorce because she wanted to retire to a small town in Indiana that she had ascertained was the safest spot in the U.S. from natural disasters of any kind (and nuclear power plants too). He wanted none of it.

Don't blame him. If being retired and living in Indiana isn't enough of a disaster - who needs hurricanes and earthquakes?

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