The decision to end your marriage is a big one and one that you do not want to make lightly. Some couples may want to separate for a period of time before they decide to go ahead with a divorce. In some states, you can get a legal separation as a step towards dissolving your marriage. Florida does not have a formal legal separation statute. In states that do have legal separation, judges handle a separation in a manner that is similar to divorce. The couple resolves many of the issues of a divorce at the time of the separation except that the parties stay married.
Can We Live Apart?
Although there is no legal mechanism for a separation in Florida, it may still be in your best interest to live apart for awhile before you decide to divorce. The law does allow for you to petition for alimony and child support unconnected with dissolution of marriage. A spouse who is not receiving support from a spouse who is able to contribute, you can request payment by filing a petition with the court. In these instances, the judge will determine whether support is just and proper and could order payment, regardless of the fact that the couple is not divorcing at this time. Although you can live apart without any type of agreement, it may be in your best interest to put a post-nuptial agreement in place.
You have likely heard of a prenuptial agreement, but few know about a post-nuptial agreement. A post-nuptial agreement is a document that details how the couple will distribute assets and debts if they divorce. A post-nuptial agreement can essentially be used like a separation agreement. If you want to draft a post-nuptial agreement you need to make sure that it contains everything that it should because if not, you could have trouble later when you divorce. You should include some important things in the agreement such as who will live in the home and when it will be sold, whether spousal support will be provided, which property will each spouse keep, and what happens if one party breaches the agreement.
You may also include a parenting plan that details custody and visitation with the children. You can also establish child support. However, it is important to note that the judge can revisit topics that have to do with children at the time of your divorce. It is essential to put the agreement in writing and make sure that it is legally binding. An experienced Brevard County family law attorney will assist you in creating and implementing a post-nuptial agreement that will be effective and useful in your situation.
Divorce and separation are not easy decisions to make. If you are considering ending your marriage it is helpful to seek guidance from a knowledgeable family law attorney. The decisions you make now could impact your life and your children’s lives for years to come. Contact our legal team at Henderson Legal Group for a free consultation today.