There are Florida couples who find that their romantic relationship is over, yet seeking a divorce is not the right choice at that time. In this situation, simply moving out and living apart may not be the right option, even when living together is not feasible. If you find yourself in a place where you wish to end your marriage but are not yet ready to move forward with a divorce, then a legal separation could be right for you.
Couples who wish to live separately while remaining legally married will find it beneficial to draft a legal separation agreement. This can protect the interests of both parties, as well as outline financial responsibilities, property division and custody.
Considerations for a legal separation agreement
Legal separations are beneficial for couples that hold religious beliefs that may prevent them from divorcing. In other cases, financial hardships and other mitigating circumstances may put a divorce on hold, necessitating a legal separation. Like a divorce agreement, the court may decide the terms of a separation, or a couple has the right to discuss the details of the agreement out of court.
Like a divorce, a legal separation agreement should include all elements that may affect members of the family. Any strong and sustainable agreement should contain considerations for the following:
- Property division
- Child custody
- Visitation schedule
- Separation maintenance, which includes both spousal support and child support
A strong separation agreement can be the foundation for a strong divorce settlement in the future, if you choose to move forward with that step.
Why live separately?
No two situations are the same, and there could be a number of reasons why you would choose to separate rather than divorce. Some couples believe that a trial separation is necessary in order to decide if divorce is necessary. A temporary separation would be for a couple who knows they want to divorce but need to wait for a specific amount of time to pass. A permanent legal separation is also an option.
No matter what you decide, you would be wise to know how your decision will impact issues such as property division and if it is necessary to seek a formal separation agreement.
Smart decisions for your future
It is prudent to put thought and careful consideration into every decision that you make that could have a significant impact on your future. From financial decisions to custody schedules, a smart separation agreement can protect you and the interests of your family.