Florida Divorce and Separation Law

Contemplating Separation? Florida Attorneys Who Can Advise You

Separation is an alternative available to persons who are uncertain whether or not they want to get a divorce. It may be done on a formal or informal basis, and can continue for an unlimited amount of time. Florida does not require a period of separation before filing for divorce and does not recognize the legal concept of a formal separation, but does have provisions concerning spousal and child support, custody, and visitation while the divorce is pending. An experienced Florida law firm like the Colter Law Group in Stuart can advise you of your separation options.

Under Florida law, the spouse that moved out of the marital residence can be required to pay child support and alimony (if applicable) to the spouse who remains in the marital home with the children, if that spouse files a Petition for Support Disconnected with Dissolution of Marriage. Once the petition is granted, the court can make decisions regarding financial obligations to the spouse and children, establish the children's primary residence, and will determine the custody and visitation rights of the parties, all before the parties actually file for divorce.

Separation Agreements

When you are not ready for divorce, a separation is possible in Florida through a separation agreement. Such a separation agreement is a contract between you and your spouse, expressing that you will live apart for an unspecified length of time, and usually covers decisions regarding:

  • Alimony
  • Child support and custody
  • Property division
  • The handling of bills
  • The marital residence
  • Separate bank accounts

The parties can also execute a mediation or settlement agreement providing the terms of their separation without having it approved by the court. If one or both parties need to enforce the agreement, they can do so as a contract when and if the need arises.

Advice You Can Trust

The decisions you make regarding your divorce will affect the rest of your life. If you have questions about petitioning for support outside of dissolution or drafting a separation or settlement agreement, our lawyers can help you. Contact Colter Law Group online or call (772) 888-0883 for personalized legal service in the state of Florida.