Legal Separation In Florida
Are you contemplating filing for legal separation before filing for divorce or want to see if legal separation is better suited to your individual case? Strictly speaking, Florida does not have a specific legal process through which you can obtain a legal separation. Both parties, however, are eligible to enter into their own marital settlement agreement that can serve the same purpose as a legal separation.
A marital settlement agreement in the State of Florida is a legally binding document, much like a contract, which means it can be enforced in court. For this reason, it should be crafted only by an experienced Florida divorce attorney. Everyone’s responsibilities and rights during the time of separation should be addressed in this agreement. These issues include responsibility for debt, division of property, and whether or not there will be alimony.
Furthermore, child-related issues can be addressed in a settlement agreement or in your individual parenting plan but bear in mind that the courts still have the final say and discretion over child-related issues known as time sharing.
Parties can also identify terms in their settlement agreement that if they are to get divorced, the settlement agreement is void and that they will renegotiate any divorce terms. It is very important that any party to such as document take specific time to have this specific document reviewed by an experienced lawyer. There must be full financial disclosure of both parties via a notarized or sworn financial affidavit and both parties should also reach out to their individual health care plans to ensure that spousal coverage will remain in effect if there is a written settlement agreement about it.
A properly-written settlement agreement is important for all involved parties and for documenting the expectations of everyone clearly. As a document to return to in the future, it should be drafted and reviewed by a lawyer.
Schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney who understands these legal aspects of separation and can give you further advice on what to anticipate.