Experiencing a troubled marriage? You’re not alone. In 2011 the National Vital Statistics System reported that the divorce to marriage ratio is 53 percent – one of the highest in the world. Age, income, education levels, and other factors that people often how little control over often heavily contribute to the high rate of divorce in the United States. A lack of commitment, constant arguing, and inequality within the relationship are commonly cited reasons for finalizing a divorce, all of which can unfortunately be commonly found within marriages today. But what if you don’t wish to pursue such a permanent option? Legal separation is frequently pursued by couples locked in a troubled marriage, but Florida, along with five other states (Delaware, Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Texas) technically provides no definition for legal separation and therefore does not legally recognized a separation; however, a separation may still be adjudicated to ensure a smooth transition.
Legal Separation at a Glance
Many couples dealing with a rocky marriage may wish to seek separation instead of a divorce for many reasons. Religious views may prevent divorce, so couples with religious beliefs may not wish to pursue a divorce; however, a strained marriage is worse for your quality of life than no marriage at all, so it is often in both parties’ interest to pursue separation. Various benefits may also prevent a full divorce, such as military benefits, health care plans, social security benefits, and joint tax filing. Sometimes the passing of time spent apart may do wonders to heal a relationship, so legal separation in Florida is a good option for couples who think there is a possibility of rekindling the relationship. Because the process of divorcing and remarrying is much more complex than separating and reuniting, many couples who believe there is a chance of reconciliation may wish to leave room to come back to the relationship.
How Separation in Florida Works
The state of Florida provides no legal definition for separation and therefore does not allow spouses of a marriage to file for legal separation, though Florida does provide other options to officiate your separation. Florida law provides a legal agreement referred to as a “separation agreement.” In a separation agreement, the court does not approve the terms of the agreement or resolve conflict. Each spouse must willingly choose to accept the agreement and the terms defined therein. A “Petition for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage” may allow one of the separated spouses to receive, if applicable, alimony and child support from the spouse who moved out of the marital home. Postnuptial agreements determine certain terms in case of future divorce, such as alimony, child support, and division of debts and assets. Because the state of Florida is not as involved in the process of separation as other states that provide for legal separation, it’s important for a couple considering separation to establish agreeable terms before actually separating. Though it can be very difficult to come to agreement within a troubled marriage, charging blindly into a separation can have serious financial and emotions repercussions. A certified attorney specializing in legal separation in Florida can make sure you receive the guidance and support you need in a difficult time.
If you have any questions about legal separation in Florida, please contact North Tampa Law Group at (813) 518-7411 or complete a free online case evaluation. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.