My wife has told me she is moving out at the end of next month. She has been saying she wants a divorce for a while and is not going to reconsider. We have one son under 10. We both work and have always needed both incomes to get by. Everything we have is in both names, even banking. She wants me to keep the house while she goes into an apartment.
Now she is saying she doesn't want to file, just move out and be fully separated. (We have already been basically separated for a year but still under the same roof). I have been told it is a not a good idea for me to agree to this, but I don't know why. We are not getting back together and have already decided who our son will be with on which days. Is there something I am missing?
There are a couple of minor reasons for a couple to file for separation instead of divorce, such as keeping one spouse on another's health insurance, to keep paying taxes at the married rate, or because the spouses to meet the residency requirement to file for divorce in Florida. However, those don't appear applicable to your case. The main reason to file for separation is a psychological one. It allows a spouse to receive alimony and/or child support while the couple works on the marriage, perhaps through counseling.
But separation in Florida isn't as extensive as it is in some other states. It only allows a judge to order alimony or child support. A judge in Florida can't declare the couple legally separated as is allowed (and sometimes required before divorce) in some other states.
Filing separation is uncommon in Florida because, when one spouse files for separation, the other just thinks "I'm not paying alimony," and countersues for divorce. A divorce case always trumps a separation case. I'm in your area, so you can call me for more information at 813-635-0222.
The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!
There is no legal separation in Florida. You can come to terms on a settlement agreement, or even request alimony and child support first before divorce, but as far as being termed "legally separated" it is not an option.
You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family & criminal law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-377-6828. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
In Florida, if you don't plan to stay together and you have no religious objections to divorce, you should just get divorced.
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