Can You Be Legally Separated In Florida?
Every married couple faces issues. Some couples work through their problems and become even closer, but others are not so lucky. If you are having problems in your marriage, you could be thinking about moving out of the marital home and spending some time away from your spouse so you can figure out whether you need to start thinking about divorce. If this is true, you are probably wondering if you can file for legal separation.
Some states recognize legal separation. In a state that recognizes legal separation, you can file a petition to obtain an order declaring that you and your spouse are legally separated after you decide to move out of your marital home. However, Florida is not one of the states that recognize legal separation. In Florida, you cannot ask the court to declare you and your spouse legally separated.
Is It Illegal To Live Separately From Your Spouse in Florida?
Since Florida does not recognize legal separation, does it mean it is illegal for spouses to live separately? Even though Florida doesn’t recognize legal separation, spouses can legally live apart while residing in Florida. You can move out of your marital home and find your own place without needing a court order.
When legal separation is granted, orders related to matters such as child support and alimony are issued. However, just because Florida does not recognize legal separation does not mean you and your spouse cannot reach a formal agreement on matters such as alimony and child support before commencing divorce. For example, you and your spouse can jointly draft a separation agreement. A separation agreement can provide similar results as legal separations in other states.
Petition for Support
If you move out of your marital home in Florida, you could also file a Petition for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage if you would like a formal agreement with your spouse. This petition can allow you to receive child support and alimony without filing for divorce.
Benefits and Problems of Living Separately While Married
If you are having problems with your marriage and are considering moving out of your marital home, you must understand that living apart from your spouse can be both beneficial and problematic. Moving out of your marital home can be beneficial if you and your spouse are arguing and fighting or if you are a victim of domestic violence. In fact, it can benefit even your children (if you have any).
On the other hand, living separately from your spouse could complicate divorce proceedings after you file for divorce. For instance, you and/or your spouse could move to another state, which could make obtaining a divorce more complicated. If you start dating, it could negatively impact your divorce, for example, if you move in with the person you are dating. Also, issues might arise regarding marital assets and debts if you live apart from your spouse for a long time before filing for divorce.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Lawyer