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My thinking was that I could possibly set up a situation in a similar way that a gay couple must set up matters -- that is, affording the legal protections of a couple without the actual marriage.

There are a couple of sticky issues that often can't be replicated.

One important one is health care issues. You can typically cover your spouse on a health insurance plan through your work. But getting health insurance for a non-spouse partner can be tougher. Of course, this might not be an issue if you each have separate insurance through your respective jobs. If your children are still dependents (I don't recall you mentioning their ages if you did), you'll have to decide on whose plan to cover them.

Making health care decisions for each other when you are not married is a tougher situation. Once divorced, you would not be able to make decisions for the other partner when that person could not make decisions for themselves. That responsibility would likely fall to your children as the closest relatives. A health care power of attorney is a potential work-around, but it is far from perfect. That would be an issue to raise with an attorney.

Naturally, I'd expect that you'd run some more exact numbers on the tax savings. You mentioned that you just did some rough estimates. Some better projections are in order. One sticky issue might be allocating the deductions for your house - the mortgage interest and taxes. And don't forget to consider your state taxes as well. There may be either a savings or a cost from the divorce. Make sure you consider the impact of AMT. It can have a significant impact on your taxes.

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