Broward County Legal Separation
Couples who are facing troubles in their marriages but don’t want to pursue divorce may consider a legal separation. It can provide benefits that divorce cannot give, like joint filing of taxes and sharing financial information.
However, Florida is, unfortunately, one of the states that don’t recognize legal separation. What you can do instead is to file some paperwork that functions pretty much the same as legal separation.
If you and your spouse want to be separated legally in Florida, it is crucial to work with a skilled legal separation attorney. Here in Dalton Law Firm, P.A., we have a team composed of these expert attorneys who can help resolve all of your concerns.
Despite the absence of the recognition for legal separation in Florida law, our attorneys are highly knowledgeable of the provisions for separation-related issues outside the bounds of a divorce decree. As you go through the separation process, we will help you take the appropriate legal steps.
From drafting agreements to handling negotiations, we are the right partner to work with. Do not hesitate and reach out to us today. Put yourself at a legal advantage and never worry about an unfair settlement.
Contact Dalton Law Firm, P.A. at (954) 371-2993 for a Free Consultation.
What Is Legal Separation?
Legal separation has all the practical elements found in divorce minus the dissolution of marriage. This means that the court will give its ruling over child custody, child support, and alimony. However, you and your spouse will remain legally married.
For some, it is more appropriate for them to choose legal separation over divorce for several reasons. Among these are for insurance or tax purposes, to qualify for certain social security benefits, or due to religious beliefs.
For others, the separation period can be used to reflect on their issues. After some time, they can either reach a resolution and reunite, or they can finally decide to pursue a divorce.
However, Florida’s family law does not recognize legal separation. Fortunately, you and your spouse can still settle various issues just as if you’ve undergone the legal separation process.
Also, you and your spouse are free to separate any time without going to court. As you two separate, you agree to do the following:
1. Maintain separate homes
2. Discontinue joint bank accounts
3. Divide marital assets and properties
Additionally, if there are children involved in the marriage, you and your spouse may decide that the children will live with one parent while the other parent gets to visit on a set schedule. However, take note that none of this agreement is legally enforceable. In the eyes of the law, your marriage with your spouse remained unchanged.
Reasons for Choosing Legal Separation Over Divorce
If you are still undecided about whether to separate from your spouse or just to divorce them, here are some of the reasons why legal separation might be a better choice.
- Healthcare coverage from your spouse’s plan
- Tax benefits
- Increased social security benefits after ten years of being married
- Military benefits awarded after ten years of marriage
- Ability to keep the same immigration status
- Religious beliefs
- Time to think if the marriage can still be resolved or it already needs dissolution
Substitutes for Legal Separation in Broward County
Although you can’t technically get a legal separation in Florida, you can still file for a legal action that functions just like separation. You can file one or more of these actions instead of undergoing a divorce process. However, as you file for these substitute legal actions, take note that each of them has their process, pros, cons, and limitations.
The following are the legal substitutes for legal separation in Florida:
Separation agreements. Rather than dissolving your marriage, you can opt for drafting a separation agreement. This agreement will address the issues within your marriage, including property division, child custody, time-sharing, and other important concerns. You and your spouse must draft it with each of your attorneys present.
Petition for support. Your other option is to file for a formal petition for support unconnected to the dissolution of marriage. However, doing this will only address the issues of child and spousal support. It wouldn’t cover your concerns about child custody and time-sharing.
Your spouse will be notified once you filed a petition for support. If they agree, the petition is considered uncontested, and a final hearing will be conducted to finalize the details. However, your spouse can attend counter-petition if he/she doesn’t agree. If this happens, you must answer the counter-petition within 20 days.
If a settlement weren’t reached, the court would schedule a hearing to discuss the issue.
Postnuptial agreements. Another thing you can do is to file a contract that states what happens if the marriage is divorced. This contract is commonly known as a postnuptial agreement. Many couples in Florida use it to get legally separated.
Postnuptial agreements address the following concerns if a divorce happens:
- Who gets to keep the marital residence
- The primary residence of the children
- Child support
- Visitation rights and time-sharing
- The receiver of support payments
- Method of support payments
- Asset division
- What classifies as a breach of agreement
- Consequences if one party breaches the agreement
Entering a postnuptial agreement can be done at any time during the marriage. If you and your spouse separate, and he/she violates the contract, you can go to the court and file an action to enforce the terms stated in the postnuptial agreement legally.
Generally, it is more advisable to enter a postnuptial agreement if you want to get legally separated from your spouse. This is because separation agreements aren’t meant to stand on their own before the court, and petitions for support only cover child and spousal support issues. Postnuptial agreements, on the other hand, are legally enforceable in Florida and address most of the concerns you have related to separation.
Best Broward County Legal Separation Attorneys
We, at Dalton Law Firm, P.A., know it can be hard to deal with a troubled marriage. That is why our team of legal separation attorneys is willing to shoulder the legal burden for you.
If you don’t want a divorce, we will lay down all your options and explain all of their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll make sure that we understand all your concerns and put them into context as we find resolutions to your case. With the skills, knowledge, and experience of our separation attorneys, we can do this as efficiently as possible.
Whatever your question is about getting legally separated in Florida, we can answer it for you. Our legal guidance has been proven invaluable by all the clients we’ve helped in the past. Rest assured, we can give you a quality, comprehensive service that will get you through the separation process with little to no unnecessary stress at all.
Let’s Talk- Dedicated Family Law Firm
If you are interested in getting a legal separation or if you want some clarifications on what it implies, it is best to talk to a skilled Broward County legal separation attorney. At Dalton Law Firm, P.A., our dedicated family lawyers assist with some of the most challenging times of your life with compassion and skill.
Contact Dalton Law Firm, P.A. at (954) 371-2993 for a Free Consultation.