Unlike many other states, Florida does not have a formal legal separation process that couples can use to remain married but still divide their property, create an enforceable parenting plan, and decide other issues like alimony and child support.
In other words, if a couple wants to address those financial and family issues that are important when deciding to live apart, they typically will have to file for a divorce.
Even so, some Pensacola residents may have some serious religious, personal or even professional or financial reservations about legally ending a marriage. For these people, there are some possible ways to live apart, protect one’s interests and avoid a divorce.
There are options other than legal separation that Pensacola residents can use
So long as the spouses who want to live apart can agree, they are free to sign a postnuptial agreement.
While postnuptial agreements must follow Florida law, they are an option in which a couple can spell out their respective rights and responsibilities should they chose to live apart.
As a word of caution, though, postnuptial agreements are generally more effective at resolving issues with property than with things like custody or parenting time. Furthermore, as the name implies, both spouses have to consent to the agreement.
Florida law also allows for people to ask a court to order child support and alimony without asking for a divorce.
Also, a process called limited divorce is available in Florida. In a limited divorce, a couple is able to stay legally married but still have a court decide important issues about property, child custody and alimony.
Even without a formal legal separation process, there are options for Floridians who need protection but who want to stay legally married. However, it’s probably best for someone interested in exploring this path to go over their options with a family law attorney.