Consider These Tips if Separating from Your Spouse
Making the choice to divorce from a spouse requires serious consideration and time. Many couples elect to spend a period of time separated before filing for divorce to be sure that they wish to end their marriage. It’s important to enter a separation thoughtfully and with adequate planning to make the separation as painless as possible, and to ensure that your rights are protected through the separation. Read on to find some guidelines for a marital separation.
Set out clear guidelines regarding what you want from the separation.
Make sure both you and your spouse are on the same page regarding the purpose of the separation. Have a conversation where you lay out explicitly what you’d like to come from your separation, and what you want your spouse to do during the separation that would make you consider a reunion. For example, determine a number of counseling sessions you’d like to attend with your spouse that you feel would give you an adequate opportunity to determine whether the relationship is salvageable. If your spouse has an issue independent of your relationship that you’d want to be addressed if the marriage is to continue, such as a substance problem or mental health issues, explain that your spouse needs to complete a course of treatment for these problems before the separation can end.
Remain respectful and professional with your spouse.
If you and your spouse have reached the point of deciding to separate, there are bound to be serious tensions between you. Nevertheless, remain cordial and respectful of your spouse through a separation. Any hope of reconciliation could be dashed if you fail to remain civil toward your spouse. You’re also likely to need your spouse’s cooperation throughout the separation, whether it’s to retrieve belongings from the home you shared or to alter the agreed child custodial schedule. Remaining civil will help the separation, and possible divorce, occur much more smoothly.
Reach an agreement on important issues before the separation, and get the agreement in writing
A separation agreement isn’t legally necessary, but it can be a way to ensure that your needs and the needs of your children are protected while your lives are still closely intertwined. A Florida family law attorney can help you draft an agreement that lays out the amount of any spousal or child support payments that should be paid during the separation, as well as which spouse has access to your shared property, and how joint credit cards or bank accounts should be used during the separation.
If you’re considering a separation or divorce in Florida, contact the seasoned and compassionate Pensacola family law attorney Crystal Collins Spencer for a consultation, at 850-912-8080, with additional offices in Sandestin at 850-424-6683 and Fort Walton Beach at 850-200-4652.