Legal Separation in Florida

Often times in the dissolution of marriage process families want to spend time separated to attempt a reconciliation.  Inter-personally this is a fine idea, however, it can be damaging to your legal rights.  In the situation where parties desire to split up without something more, there is no legal distinction in Florida in terms of their married rights and liabilities.  We often encourage folks who are presently separated to consider the financial impact, and logistical impact of a temporary relocation and to think about the alternatives to an unrecognized separation.

  • Separation Agreements – In some situations, a separation agreement in Florida can provide the same result as a legal separation in other states. The only difference is that a court does not approve the agreement or resolve disputes. You and your spouse must enter into the legally binding contract on your own accord and follow its terms.
  • Petition for Support – A “Petition for Support Disconnected with Dissolution of Marriage” can enable one spouse to receive child support and alimony (if applicable) from a spouse that has moved out of the marital residence without actually filing for divorce. The petition specifies that the request is not related to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Postnuptial Agreements – A postnuptial agreement can be entered into that specifies how assets, debts, alimony and other issues will be handled in the event of a divorce in the future.
  • Filing for Dissolution - sometimes filing for dissolution before you’re “ready” is the appropriate step to protect yourself.  The date to determine the value of assets and liabilities is the date of filing, however, you don’t have to have your spouse served until 120 days after filing.  You can protect yourself while still waiting for a potential resolution.

At Peterson Family Law we can help you in Naples, Bonita Springs, Marco Island or Estero, draft your separation contract and provide you the advice you need to make an informed and best interests decision.

This is not an easy time and we want to be by your side.