Alternatives to Divorce
Many couples reach a stage in the marriage where they want to be apart, i.e., to cease living together; however, they see financial benefits to remaining legally married. When this is the case, there are options. It is true that Florida is not technically a legal separation statue but again, there are options.
The first option is a postnuptial agreement. This is just like a prenuptial agreement except that it takes place after the marriage has commenced rather than prior. This agreement can resolve all issues between spouses in the event of divorce. This way, each spouse knows what will happen if and when a divorce finally takes place.
Another option is a Marital Settlement Agreement or Marital Separation Agreement. This agreement also sets forth and resolves all issues in the event of divorce and is much like a postnuptial agreement. This agreement will establish rights and obligations during the separation period.
Separation can be an important option in certain circumstances. For example, if one spouse is ill or has a serious medical condition and it is important to keep insurance benefits in place. There are other financial, family, and personal advantages to remaining married as well.
Just keep in mind; when making a decision to live separate from a spouse, it is imperative that some type of written agreement is in place. Otherwise, a new “status quo” can be established which can be financially detrimental to either spouse. Seek out legal counsel if you are separating and need more information or direction.