If you are getting separated in Orlando, Florida you may want to speak to the family lawyer at The Aikin Family Law Group today. For many married couples, a separation agreement is the first step they take before getting divorced. However, separation doesn’t confer the same legal benefits that divorce provides. For example, you could still be held liable for any financial decisions your former partner might make during your separation. For example, any debts your partner takes on while you are separated, but not divorced, could potentially be still considered marital debts. Any withdrawals your partner makes to shared bank accounts or retirement accounts can have an impact on your financial future. Finally, if you have children and will be living apart during your separation, you’ll need to have a parenting plan in place that outlines issues like custody, visitation, and child support.
How can you protect yourself from the risks that come with separating before divorce? A sound separation agreement can go a long way to protecting your interests and making expectations clear. However, Florida law does not recognize separation agreement. You and your spouse would need to enter into a post-nuptial agreement outlining all the terms of your separation and future divorce if that is the route you two choose. For example, a strong post-nuptial agreement can include clear guidelines for your finances, can outline which accounts have been divided and which are off-limits during the course of the separation. A post-nuptial agreement can list your shared debts and require that both parties agree to not take on additional debt after the agreement is in place.
The Aikin Family Law Group is a family lawyer in Orlando, Florida who may be able to assist you with your separation agreement. Our lawyer can review your situation and draft a post-nuptial agreement that can protect your rights. A sound post-nuptial agreement can often be the foundation of your divorce agreement. If you are getting separated, don’t take shortcuts. Consider reaching out to a family lawyer today.
What Should Be Addressed in Your Florida Separation (Post-Nuptial) Agreement?
There are several key things that should be included in your post-nuptial agreement. However, every couple’s situation is unique, and it is helpful to work through this agreement with the assistance of your family lawyer. Here are some things you may want to include in your Orlando, Florida separation (post-nuptial) agreement:
- Your shared and individual debts should be listed. It may be wise to split your debts when drafting a separation agreement. Many agreements also include provisions that prevent both parties from taking on any added debts during the separation.
- Split Accounts. Many couples choose to split their shared bank accounts during their separation. If this is not possible, couples may need to address how they are to use shared funds.
- Retirement Accounts and Savings. These accounts can be split or both parties may need to make decisions about how these accounts will be managed during the separation.
- Property and Real Estate. If you share property or real estate with your former partner, you may need to make decisions about how this property will be divided. Or, at the very least, some rules regarding how the property will be managed during the separation may need to be established. For example, if you both own a rental property, who gets the rental income? Who will manage the property?
- Spousal Support. Just like alimony during a divorce, if you are separating and will live apart, one party may be required to pay spousal support. The Aikin Family Law Group are family lawyers in Orlando, Florida who may be able to assist you with this aspect of your separation agreement.
- Child Custody. If you have children, your parenting plan should be thorough and in many ways will not be any different than a parenting plan you would develop were you to get divorced. Questions about where the children will live, who will have primary custody, and how visitation will be arranged need to be addressed.
- Child Support. If one parent will have primary custody, questions of child support must be addressed.
These are just some of the factors that may need to be addressed in your post-nuptial agreement. Every couple’s needs will be unique, so while it might be tempting to use a template separation agreement, you may want to speak to a lawyer as you navigate your separation. The Aikin Family Law Group are family law attorneys in Orlando, Florida who may be able to assist you with drafting a post-nuptial agreement that will work for you and your family.
Protect Yourself and Your Children
There are many good reasons why couples choose to separate before divorce. Some aren’t ready for divorce or aren’t sure. However, before you live apart or separate, it is wise to take steps to protect your legal and financial interests. Contact the Aikin Family Law Group, family lawyers in Orlando, Florida today.