Why Would a Couple Separate Instead of Divorce?

At some point, you may find yourself and your partner struggling in your marriage and relationship. While these struggles may be part of the bumps in the road all of us confront at one point or another when in a committed relationship, it may merit a marked shift in how you define and live in that relationship. For some, it may mean divorce. Divorce can be the best thing for everyone in some situations. It is the severing of the legal ties that bind you in marriage and can signal a much-needed new beginning. Other times, divorce may not be right for one partner or the other in a marriage. Instead, the couple may choose to separate. Here, we will discuss why a couple may choose separation instead of a divorce and what steps should be taken to help ensure legal rights and interests continue to remain protected while separated.

Why Would a Couple Separate Instead of Divorce?

There is a wide range of reasons why a couple may decide to separate instead of divorce. For starters, divorce can be expensive and the couple may feel it is not the right time for it (although it should be noted that not getting a divorce can carry its own expensive consequences). Other couples may not feel emotionally ready to confront the legal system and the stress court processes can be so notoriously known for (although these stressful court proceedings can be avoided through things such as utilizing the services of a mediator). A couple may not want to divorce because of religious reasons. In some cases, a couple simply does not want to divorce because they feel it is too final and they want to try separating first.

Whatever the reason for separating instead of divorcing, it is important to be aware of the fact that Florida does not actually recognize the legal validity of a separation. While a couple may, of course, choose to live apart without getting a divorce, there will be no legally recognized consequences of this separate living arrangement. If you choose to live separate from your spouse in lieu of getting a Florida divorce. You should be prepared to put legal protections in place that protect your rights, especially considering the possibility of divorce later on looms in the future.

When separated from your spouse, you can address many of the things that would be addressed in a divorce. You can use legal tools, such as a postnuptial agreement, to address things like division of the property and use of the marital home, which can help streamline the divorce process should it come to that as well as protect your rights to your assets. You can also petition the court to put a child support order in place. While official divorce proceedings may not be yet happening, Florida courts reserve the right to order child support even in the event that a couple is not legally divorced.

Orlando Family Law Attorneys

Are you considering separating from your spouse? Are you considering divorce? Talk to the team at Orlando Family Team about your options. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.