Legal Separation

Divorce Attorney West Palm Beach

Several generations ago, people did not get divorced. At one time, there was a stigma to the idea of divorce and people opted for a "legal separation". People in Florida often ask about a legal separation. They are surprised when they are told that there is actually nothing in Florida called a legal separation. The judge issues anything called a "writ of legal separation" or a "legal separation decree". It is possible, however, to involve the court when parties are separated and in need of spousal support or child support. There are three procedures or types of separation, two judicial and one non judicial, which achieve that result. These include actions for support, actions to determine one's duty for support and separation agreements.

If you are considering the possibility of a legal separation is important to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce and family law attorney. The law offices of divorce attorney West Palm Beach, Stephen J. Press has for decades of experience concerning divorce and legal separation.

Separation Agreements

Separation agreements are the most common form of legal separation because these agreements are used in settling a divorce case. They are often called Marital Settlement Agreements. The parties agreements are put into a written contract (marital settlement agreement) in the contract is usually made part of the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. A separation agreement can be enforced in the same manner as any other contract until the final judgment is entered.

A separation agreement will generally address the same issues as a marital settlement agreement used on the way to a divorce. It would provide for custody, child support and support for a dependent spouse. If used to facilitate a divorce, it must also provide for property division. An agreement can't be modified by the court if there is a substantial change of circumstances between the execution of the agreement and the final hearing. This happens very rarely. Settlement agreements are beneficial to the parties because they will more likely abide by the agreed terms that if the court imposes the terms after a contested hearing.

The law offices of divorce attorney West Palm Beach, Stephen J. Press has extensive experience in drafting all types of agreements including pre-and post-nuptial agreements, marital settlement agreements and legal separation agreements. Please contact us for a free, confidential consultation should you be contemplating a legal separation or a divorce.

Actions for support

Florida law provides two separate support actions. One is called alimony and child support unconnected with dissolution. It empowers a dependent spouse (or one with dependent children) to petition the court for support without seeking a dissolution of marriage (divorce). A second action allows a party to request the court to determine his duty to support a spouse or minor child unconnected with a divorce. It also allows the court to establish a parenting plan for the parties. These types of actions a relatively rare. If the marriage has deteriorated to the point where the court must oppose support on one spouse or the other, the marriage is likely heading to a divorce in any case. In reality, an action for support unconnected with dissolution is just as involved as an action for divorce and will likely cost as much. Also, if one party files for support, the other party can file a counter petition for dissolution of marriage. In an action for support, the court cannot divide the parties assets and debts as it would be able to in a divorce case. The court could, however, provide for the use of the property as opposed to its ownership.

Contact a divorce attorney West Palm Beach

Please contact the Law offices of divorce attorney West Palm Beach, Stephen J. Press for a free consultation at 561-833-2772 or contact us online.