No one enters into a marriage with the expectation that it will end. However, people and circumstances change over time and a once-thriving marriage may find itself in turmoil. When this occurs, often couples will decide to pursue legal separation in Florida before filing for divorce. Legal separation in Florida occurs when a married couple ends cohabitation and lives separately for a period of time. Under Florida divorce law, separation alone may not affect the marital status or property rights of either spouse unless there is a written separation agreement. See Hollister v. Hollister. For more information on the laws regarding legal separation in Florida you should contact a divorce law firm in Tampa to schedule a consultation.
Legal Separation in Florida and Division of Property
A couple’s assets acquired after legal separation in Florida can still be considered marital property and subject to an equitable distribution in a divorce proceeding, unless there is a written agreement to the contrary. The written separation agreement can act as a cut-off date for determining whether assets and liabilities are marital or separate property. Without a written agreement for legal separation in Florida, assets and liabilities incurred after separation but prior to divorce will be presumed to be marital property. In a divorce proceeding, a Florida family law court will typically divide the marital property 50/50 between the couple unless there are factors that would make a 50/50 split inequitable. A divorce lawyer in Tampa can help to advise on all the factors the judge will consider in a divorce after legal separation in Florida.
Some of the factors the court will consider are:
- The length of the marriage
• The assets and debts each spouse contributed to the marriage
• Homemaking and child care contributions provided by each spouse during the marriage
• The financial condition of each spouse
• The negative effect on the career or education of either spouse as a result of the divorce
• A spouse’s desire or interest in a particular asset
• Waste or destruction of marital assets by a spouse
Agreement for Legal Separation in Florida
Once the written agreement for legal separation in Florida is executed by both parties any property acquired by either spouse may no longer be presumed marital property. Therefore, if a couple is separated they should consider entering into an agreement for legal separation in Florida. The agreement can help the parties move on with their lives and reduce the amount of issues that may arise in the divorce proceeding.
Divorce Law Firm in Tampa
If you are contemplating filing for divorce or just legal separation in Florida, you can contact Florida Law Advisers to schedule a free consultation with a divorce attorney in Tampa. Our divorce attorneys in Tampa have extensive experience in a wide range of divorce and separation matters. Every separation and divorce case is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to a client’s individual needs. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. can help.