A Separation Versus a Divorce
When people get married, the assumption in most cases is that they will stay together for the rest of their lives. After all, marriage is supposed to be the most serious commitment one makes to another to stay together. However, issues occur, changes happen, and things can occur to cause people to grow apart. The legal system recognizes that there can be big differences in the mental statuses of spouses and how ready they are for a complete dissolution. In many cases, while people are angry with each other at one point, some distance can have a healing effect, and people do decide to continue their marriage and not divorce. As a result, there is a legal distinction between a separation and an actual, final separation via divorce.
In a separation, spouses enter a status where they begin to separate their lives from one another legally. This usually involves separation of finances and income along with obligations to each other such as terms on alimony and child support. Interestingly and unlike other states, Florida does not have a specified process for legal separation. Instead, it allows the spouses to craft a voluntary agreement on how to behave. If both parties agree, the court can get involved and approve separation terms that work very similarly to other states’ versions of separation. These can include petitions for support to receive court approval of alimony and child support, establishment of primary residence for children in the marriage, terms of custody and other similar concerns.
A divorce under state law is the final, complete legal separation of two spouses, eliminating their marriage by court order as well as determining their final share of marital property and obligations. There is no reversing a divorce – it is final. The only way spouses can go back to a marriage status afterward is to get remarried. And the divorce remains on the legal record regardless, so the new marriage legally only has a life and status from the date of remarriage per the county recorder, which of course has implications on property and title as well.
If you or someone you know needs legal expertise and advice with regards to a marriage that is beginning to move toward divorce in or near the Plantation or Naples greater area, give our offices a call. With expert attorneys on staff who have handled multiple divorce cases and separation proceedings, we can provide valuable advice and support going forward so that every phase of a marriage development provides the best options possible for your case.