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Wife & I are beginning the separation process - What should I do/not do?

Jacksonville, FL |

My wife was unfaithful, and I am moving out, a voluntary separation, to prevent her from filing from divorce, with hope of reconciliation in the near future. She has 2 children from a previous marriage (which I have not adopted, and she is periodically receiving child support for), then we had adopted a boy together from the state (which comes with state stipend). We have nonbindingly agreed to separate finances, and I will be assuming full responsibility for our son, with visitation to be determined once I find a place for us to live. I'm trying to see if there is anything specific I should do, or avoid doing, while in this situation.

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Attorney answers 3


You should be aware that Florida does not have legal separation. Regardless of your physical separation, you are still considered to be legally married and any assets and debts that are acquired by either of you after your separation will still be considered to be marital assets. You may want to explore a post-nuptial agreement and also an action for separate maintenance. It really would serve your interests to consult with a family law attorney in your area as to all of your options to ensure that your interests are protected regardless of whether you proceed with a divorce or not. Good luck!

This communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with my colleague -- Florida is a bit tricky when it comes to separation. You may want to consider filing an action for dissolution of marriage or separate maintenance, with the knowledge that if the two of you do reconcile, you can always dismiss the case voluntarily or file for an abatement to put the process on hold.

I would at the least recommend you contact a local and experienced family law attorney to discuss everything more in depth. Many great attorneys can be found right here on Avvo in your area.

Ophelia Bernal-Mora
Orlando Family Law Attorney

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 divorce and family law firm located in Orlando, Florida. Communication through Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to our office until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


I agree with my colleagues. You should definitely consult with a family attorney in your area, as it seems that your case has a variety of issues. As the previous attorney advised you, Florida does not recognize legal separation and there is always the option of filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and voluntarily dismissing it should you reconcile.