Most people who have reached an absolute impasse in their marriage only consider divorce as an option. However, there are certainly other legal alternatives for you to consider, some of which will be based on your specific case.
Annulment: Annulment is a process where instead of being divorced, the marriage is treated as if it had never taken place. Like a divorce, an annulment is a court procedure that dissolves a marriage and it can be more complex than a divorce. Although duration of marriage is not a factor in determining if annulment may be granted, annulments are most common when the couples have not been married for very long. Examples of grounds for annulment include bigamy, incest, under age marriage, failure to consummate the marriage, etc. Because an annulment may limit one’s ability to share in the marital estate or to obtain alimony, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney who can help you review your options and improve the success of your case.
Separation: There are many reasons why couples decide to live separately but not divorce, such as for religious reasons. There is no specific statute defining legal separation in the state of Florida. In some situations, couples may enter, voluntarily with full disclosure, into a legally binding separation agreement which outlines mutually-agreed upon rights and responsibilities on issues such as assets, liabilities and obligations. The court does not approve this agreement nor does it resolve disputes.
Petition for Support: A “Petition for Support Disconnected with Dissolution of Marriage” can enable one spouse to receive child support and alimony (if applicable) from a spouse that has moved out of the marital residence without actually filing for divorce. The petition specifies that the request is not related to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
Postnuptial Agreements – A postnuptial agreement can be entered into which specifies how assets, debts, alimony and other issues will be handled in the event of a divorce in the future or should a couple want to live apart but not want to divorce. Florida Law has legal requirements for postnuptial agreements to determine if they are enforceable.
Every situation is different and each case unique. D’Lugo and DeFlora, P.A. can analyze your situation and help you make decisions in your best interest and that of your family. If you find yourself needing support, legal information or help, call D’Lugo and DeFlora for a consultation at 407.870.5551 or online at www.kissimmeefamilylaw.com.