Divorce and Separate Maintenance Proceedings
When you are going through marital difficulties things can reach the point where you feel as though are not happy living with your spouse. This can lead to the knee-jerk reaction of filing for a dissolution of marriage, but this is not the only way to gain that space that you are looking for when your marriage hits a rough patch. Many couples will choose to live separately for a time without filing for divorce in an effort to allow things to cool down and do some soul searching. In many cases the parties will gain a renewed perspective that opens the door to a reconciliation.
Most states allow for the status of legal separation, but Florida is not one of them. However, all of the terms of separation that would be on the table in a state that offered legal separations can all be addressed in Florida. The parties can simply agree to the division of property and debt, child care and expense responsibilities, and possible separate maintenance (a payment similar to alimony) informally between themselves. Should they choose to enter into a formal legal contract they can do that as well by executing a post nuptial agreement that delineates the personal property of each individual.
It should be mentioned that although there is no formal status of legal separation in Florida, the court can order separate maintenance if the couple cannot agree on it voluntarily.
Though separation is a path that is often taken by married couples who do hold out hope of getting back together at some point in time, there are those who separate knowing they don’t want to reconcile. They may choose not to go through a dissolution of marriage proceeding because one of the parties wants to retain insurance coverage or qualify for pension or Social Security benefits.
For legal advice about divorce and separate maintenance proceedings, contact a Tampa FL family attorney to arrange for a free consultation.