In some states, there are requirements about how long a couple has to be separated before filing for divorce. However, in Florida there are no requirements about how long you have to be separated before filing for divorce. You can be living in the same house at the same time you divorce.
There is a requirement, however, that at least one of the spouses has been a resident of Florida for at least six months immediately prior to and at the time you file for a divorce.
Although there is no law requiring a separation prior to a Florida divorce, there may be reasons you would want to separate for a time before divorcing, as well as reasons you may not want to separate for a long period of time before divorcing. A separation can sometimes actually lead couples to get back together.
A separation can interrupt emotional drama, which can give spouses time to work on their marriage. A separation can also let both parties see what a divorce may be like, which can help to clarify spouses’ decisions on whether to stay together or not. A trial separation may be best for the children, to ease them into the idea of a split, as well as to get them out of the emotional drama.
If you do decide to separate, both spouses should agree to some ground rules, such as how the finances are handled during the separation and how long the separation will last.
However, there are some bad things that can happen during a separation, most of which involve money. A separation gives spouses a good chance to hide assets and to spend money in a way of which the other spouse may or may not approve.
A long-term separation could give a spouse the chance to move to another state with more beneficial alimony laws. A long separation can be damaging to the children, because they may feel like they are in limbo.
Finally, you may also feel like your life is on hold during the separation.
If you are considering separating from your spouse, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida, and he can help advise you on whether a separation would be in your best interests or not, as well as what steps you can take to protect yourself during a separation.