Legal Separation in Florida
A common misconception is that parties can legally separate in Florida prior to filing for divorce. While there is no such thing as legal separation in Florida, a court can consider the date that the parties separated to divide assets or liabilities. For example, the parties may separate two years prior to filing for divorce and the wife may have contribute to her 401k during this time. A trial court may find that it is not equitable to award the husband any portion of the contributions that were acquired after the date of separation.
While there is no such thing as legal separation in Florida, a court can consider the date that the parties separated to divide assets or liabilities.
In many cases, there is also a factual dispute as to the date of separation as parties may slowly grow apart or do a trial separation prior to deciding to fully divorce. While Florida courts do not recognize legal separation, the court can consider the date the parties separated when dividing assets or liabilities. Pursuant to section 61.075(7), Florida Statutes, “[d]ifferent assets may be valued as of different dates, as, in the judge’s discretion, the circumstances require.”
Further, a couple is able to enter into a valid agreement at any time to divide all assets and liabilities. Depending on the intent of the agreement, the agreement would either be a marital settlement agreement or a post-nuptial agreement. If you are thinking about entering into an agreement as part of a separation or in anticipation of a potential divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to know your options.