My wife and I have been married for 17 years .. Our marriage have been over for years now.. I still live in the house because she doesn't want too work and has no family or friends.. So I've been taking care of her. Anyway, I just wanna know am I ...
Short answer is no, you don't have to file before you leave. The long answer is you may be better off (as long as the environment is not too hostile) to stay there and file. FL Statute 61.08 defines a 17 year marriage as "long term" and permanent alimony could come into play depending on your specific circumstances. F.S. 61.08(8)â€ƒ"Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration, . . ." see the following link for the complete statute. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.08.html
Because of the potential for having to permanent alimony, stay in the house and try to reach a settlement agreement through the use of mediation. The 13th Circuit (Tampa) does not have a pre filing mediation program so you will have to file first. The following link will direct you to the FAQs section of their Family Mediation program.