Many couples in Florida use this period of living apart to reassess their feelings. Sometimes, they may decide to get back together.
Orlando, FL – Seeing your marriage crumbling is a very stressful experience, but in Florida, things are even more difficult as you don’t have the option of legal separation available in many other states. In Florida, you’re legally married until you get a divorce. There is no middle ground. At least, not one recognized under the law. Here’s what you can do to go your separate ways, while taking care of the things you have in common, like your children and your assets.
Married, but living apart
Some couples do not want to get a divorce, for religious reasons or for the sake of their kids. However, when they don’t want to live together anymore, they can reach out to a separation agreements lawyer in Orlando and sort things out.
While you’re still legally married, when you decide to part ways you can take advantage of statutes that allow you to settle important problems like spousal support, child support, and timesharing (custody and visitation rights).
Here are the specific legal agreements you can use to formalize the terms of a separation in Florida.
This is a legally binding agreement that can provide the same result as legal separations in other states. You’ll need to talk to a seasoned lawyer about the content of this type of agreement.
Petition for Support
Formally known as Petition for Support Disconnected with Dissolution of Marriage, this type of agreement allows one spouse to receive child support and alimony from the spouse who has moved out of the marital residence without filing for divorce. Bear in mind that such an agreement only deals with the financial aspects, that is child support. Custody and visitation cannot be included in the petition. It is best to reach a private agreement on custody and do what’s best for the kids. If the parents cannot agree on this issue, they will have to go to court to settle the question of the child’s primary residence.
Similar to a prenup, a postnuptial agreement specifies the terms and conditions of the division of assets, debts, and alimony. This can be a test for the couple to see how they handle themselves and whether or not they can part ways in a decent, uncomplicated manner. Discussing and signing a postnuptial can be of great help if later on, you do file for a divorce.
What you need to keep in mind is that all these agreements are legally binding as long as you both want to continue like this, living separately without being divorced. However, when one spouse decides it’s time to move on and files for divorce, these agreements fly out of the window and you must renegotiate the terms of your separation. Now would be a good time to look up the best Florida divorce lawyers.
Will reaching a separation agreement lead to a divorce?
Not necessarily. In fact, many couples in Florida use this period of living apart to reassess their feelings. Sometimes, they may decide to get back together. If your partner wants to negotiate a separation agreement, there’s no harm in it. It can make your life easier for the time being as you settle monetary and custody issues, but it’s not like getting a divorce.