This post is written to conclude and recap my series on the concept of “legal separations” in the state of Florida. I felt it was important to write on this topic as it is a subject that causes confusion amongst many Floridians. This confusion stems from the fact that, unlike other states, we do not have a mechanism for spouses to obtain court ordered protection when they wish to stay married but not live together. Due to this fact, this series was written with the goal of providing information which will help people to better understand their situation. It has also been my goal to provide information which will assist with the selection of a family law attorney. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I have addressed several topics over my recent articles. Issues which I have analyzed include:
- Florida law does not provide for legal separation
- Why parents may prefer divorce over separating
- How a postnuptial agreement protects separating spouses
- Challenging a postnuptial agreement during divorce proceedings
There are multiple reasons why I chose to address these topics. First, some are surprised to learn that our state does not provide a legal vehicle for separate maintenance. This can make things more complicated for those who wish to go their separate ways, but need to stay married for reasons involving religion, benefits, etc. Second, it may be a better idea for some spouses to divorce as doing so can allow them to gain a child custody order. They may also obtain a decree from the Court dictating spousal support, the division of debts, etc. In our state, there is no way to obtain such an order without filing for divorce. Third, a postnuptial agreement can help to ensure that a spouse is protected from another’s financial behavior, or lack thereof, during a separation. Finally, it is important to understand that a postnuptial agreement can be challenged and invalidated. If the Court finds the agreement to be invalid, then it will be as if it did not exist.
One point I stressed throughout each of these articles is the importance of speaking with an attorney if you are considering separating from your spouse. By speaking with counsel, you help to ensure that you have taken the steps necessary to protect your interests in the event that you do file for divorce. I am a Melbourne family law lawyer who devotes her practice to handling domestic relations law. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also serve the cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.