Florida is one of the few states that does not technically recognize legal separation under the law. However, there are still various ways that you can protect yourself and your assets without going through the divorce process in Florida, if this is what you and your spouse choose. By understanding these options, you can make an informed decision regarding what your next steps will be as you navigate the divorce process.
Robert Sparks Divorce Attorneys of Tampa stand by our clients during one of the most difficult times in their life. We want to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process, as well as when you emerge from a divorce. Contact our offices so that you can get started with a free legal consultation.
Understanding Legal Separation Options in Florida
As mentioned previously, Florida is actually one of six states in the U.S. that does not recognize legal separation. Legal separation is incredibly beneficial to many couples, as it allows couples to sit down and reach agreements on issues regarding child custody, support payments, and more. However, just because Florida is not legally recognized in Florida, this does not mean that you are out of options if you decide not to move forward with a divorce.
In Florida, you can still reach decisions and agreements in court regarding aspects such as child support and alimony without going through a divorce. Even though you will still remain legally married by the end of this process, you can still obtain a court order that includes timesharing of your children, spousal support, child support, and more.
A separation does not ultimately end in a future divorce. Some couples choose separation as a way to take time to themselves and work out their differences, while others will separate for life without even considering a divorce. Some reasons why couples decide separation is best for them include the following:
- Religious reasons
- Healthcare benefits
- Social security benefits that accrue during marriage
- Benefits involving taxes when a couple files jointly
As you consider your separation, you may start to take a look at what aspects you want to settle as you write up agreements with your spouse. With the help of an attorney, you can ensure that you are being treated fairly throughout this process.
Understanding Divorce in Florida
Divorce is a vastly different option from separation in Florida. Unlike separating from your spouse, divorce puts a legal end to the marriage. Assets and debts will be divided and orders regarding child support and alimony will be put in place. Divorce also changes the tax-filing status of both parties and shared benefits will often be terminated.
There are many reasons why a couple may choose to go through divorce in Florida instead of separating. Perhaps the couple wants to resolve issues regarding finances and property, making sure that agreements are made regarding assets and debts. Perhaps it is the final step in making sure that you are no longer tied to your ex-spouse if you decide to remarry in the future. Divorce can be a beneficial option for many.
Florida is known as a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that you can file for a divorce without providing a reason. Provided that you believe that the marriage can no longer be reconciled, you have the option to go through this process and settle a variety of matters that are important to you regarding your property, children, and more.
Is Separation or Divorce the Better Option?
There is no option that is better than the other regarding separation or divorce in Florida – just the question of what works better for you and your spouse. Depending on the future of your relationship with your spouse, your children, or your religious views, you may believe that either option is best for you.
No matter what you decide, it is crucial that you sit down and discuss the situation with your spouse before any final decisions are made. Divorce is a legally permanent option, which is why you want to be sure before you move forward with the process.
Contact Robert Sparks Attorneys for Guidance During the Florida Divorce Process
Experiencing a Florida divorce can be an overwhelming and stressful process. It is also a process that you do not want to handle alone, as you want to ensure that you are being treated fairly and that your rights are being protected in divorce. You deserve knowledgeable and resourceful representation so that you can get back on your feet during this process. Contact us for more information regarding your Florida divorce case.