Marriages are complex personal relationships and legal contracts, and ending them can be difficult for a variety of reasons. For some couples, the best option may be to leave the marriage legally intact but physically separate from each other. Couples might select this option because of religious reasons, because the parties would lose out on tax or other benefits, or because the spouses feel that they may reconcile in the future.
Understanding the implications of a separation and how it differs from a divorce may require the advice of a West Palm Beach separation agreement lawyer. Palm Beach County attorney Charles D. Jamieson could support you and help you understand how the law can protect you and your interests. Reach out to a marital agreements attorney to learn more.
State Law Does Not Recognize Legal Separation
Many states recognize legal separation as distinct from divorce. In Florida, however, the statutory law does not include provisions detailing separation. Fortunately, even though there is a lack of specific terms, there are still ways for a couple to reach an arrangement that functions similarly to a separation.
When a couple separates, the courts will often sign orders that require one spouse to pay child support or alimony to their former partner. The relevant language is in Florida Statute 61.09, which states that if one party who has the means to provide support to their spouse and children fails to do so, the court will enter orders requiring an amount of support that they see fit. This order will not cause the termination of the party’s marriage, and the spouses will be able to continue to receive health insurance, tax breaks, and other benefits provided by the union.
The protections provided in these situations are vital for the children and dependent spouses. However, the separation will not divide any property that the couple owns jointly. A West Palm Beach attorney could help a couple understand the best options for separation in these scenarios.
How a Postnuptial Agreement Can Facilitate a Separation
A postnuptial agreement is a contract that spouses can sign after their marriage begins. Many people are more familiar with prenuptial agreements that protect each parties’ assets in the event of a future divorce. Postnuptial agreements serve a similar purpose and can prove useful to spouses who are separating but not divorcing.
There are specific legal requirements needed for postnuptial agreements. The individuals must memorialize the terms in writing, both of the parties must sign, and the spouses must sign a document stating that they both disclosed accurate and complete information regarding their assets and income. A court will not approve or uphold a document that neglects to meet the formalities of a postnuptial agreement.
The postnuptial agreement can address many of the same issues that a separation agreement would include. The parties may decide who will remain in a marital residence, where the children will reside, any payments a spouse will make to the other, who is entitled to what property, and what will transpire in the event of a contract breach. A West Palm Beach attorney could help ensure that the document meets all of the parties’ needs so that they can successfully separate.
Hire a Palm Beach County Separation Agreements Attorney to Help
Separating from a spouse is a difficult process that can impact your entire family. Doing so carries a serious emotional toll, and the legal complications can lead to hostility and disputes. Fortunately, it is possible to reach a binding legal agreement that provides financial and other protections for your family, including your children.
If you are considering a separation from your spouse, you should enlist the assistance of a West Palm Beach separations agreements lawyer. Attorney Charles D. Jamieson could explain your options and offer ways in which the law can work to help you and your family during a difficult time. Call today for more information.