– Separation Agreements –
Our experienced Family Law Attorneys in Tampa will ensure that your rights are protected in the terms and conditions of your separation agreement
An informal agreed trial separation is when couples want to take some time apart in their marriage, and wants to live apart for a while, before they make a decision about whether to file for divorce. Issues such as who are paying the bills or take care of the kids are sorted out by the spouses informally, between the two of them.
That is not so at all the case of a legal separation where you and your spouse enter into a legal contract in which you will agree to live apart for some time. Legal separation is not a divorce and you might reconcile, in which case you do not have to do anything in order to continue your marriage. If you do not reconcile, and wish to proceed with a divorce, you must file for divorce explicitly. Reconciliation after separation supersedes special articles of separation in courts of law and equity.
When a wife and husband and consent to live separately they are said to have made a separation. Legal separation (sometimes “judicial separation”, “separate maintenance”, “divorce a mensa et thoro”, or “divorce from bed-and-board”) is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is granted in the form of a court order.
Where children are involved, a court order of legal separation often makes temporary arrangements for the care, custody, and financial support of the children (“for the time being”). Thus, part of the court order determines child custody. Some couples obtain a legal separation as an alternative to a divorce, based on moral or religious objections to divorce.
A separation agreement is a legal contract between a husband and wife when they separate reciting their promises and agreements. No law requires a separating couple to execute a separation agreement; however, it is a wise idea if there are debts, children, or property involved and the parties want to settle these matters in writing. You will clearly define who is responsible for paying the household bills, who will continue to stay in the marital home, who will be granted custody of the children during the separation, who will pay child support, and other issues in the legal separation agreement.
Although a legal separation won’t dissolve your marriage in the eyes of the court, there are still advantages for filing a separation agreement. Legally, a separation agreement allows your attorney to begin the process of marital property division during the mandatory six-month waiting period prior to the final divorce decree. Personally, spouses can continue to take advantage of health care and tax benefits enjoyed by married couples. If neither party expects to remarry, a separation could be a brilliant choice. Spousal support payments may be deducted from taxes only if the obligation is part of your separation agreement (or court order).
Contact a Florida Family Lawyer experienced in Separation Agreements
The Eric Boles Law Firm in Tampa, Florida prepares a legal separation agreement that protects your rights throughout the marriage dissolution process, even if divorce is not your ultimate objective. For a free consultation with a Family Lawyer knowledgeable on experienced in Separation Agreements, contact the Eric Boles Law Firm by completing the contact form (click here) or do not hesitate to call (813) 933-7700. We work closely with you and address your concerns, advise you about your rights, and provide practical litigation to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.