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Why Your Date Of Separation Is Important


It is a common misconception in Florida that couples can get legally separated. While the reality is that Florida doesn’t actually recognize this type of legal action, the date that a couple separates can play a significant role in the divorce process. The date that a couple decides to lead separate lives, for instance, will be considered by the court when dividing marital property. To ensure that you have an adequate understanding of the importance and impact that the date of separation could have on your divorce proceedings, consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer who can give you a detailed explanation of this issue.

Equitable Distribution

Although Florida doesn’t recognize legal separations, the date that a couple decides to separate will play a role in the process of dividing their marital property. In Florida, a divorcing couple’s marital assets are split, not equally, but in a way that is deemed equitable by the court. However, this mandatory division only applies to marital property, or assets acquired after a marriage took place. Assets obtained prior to, or after the end of a marriage, on the other hand, will be considered non-marital assets and so won’t need to be divided.

The date of a couple’s separation can play a crucial part in the timeline of establishing whether property is marital or nonmarital and in turn, whether certain assets must be shared or can remain in the sole ownership of one spouse. If, for instance, one spouse acquired a new debt after separating, but before the finalization of divorce, that debt would likely be considered non-marital and so not the responsibility of the other spouse. The date of separation will also largely dictate the value of an asset, as property is often divided based on the value of the asset at the time of separation. This decision will, however, be dependent on whether a couple can prove their date of separation.

What Qualifies as Separation?

What constitutes separation has been defined and interpreted in a variety of ways by Florida courts. Most, however, calculate this event from the date that a couple started acting in a way that indicated a desire to end their union. For some, this date could be when a couple started sleeping in separate rooms, when one spouse moved out, when the parties entered into a legal separation agreement, or when one of the spouses actually filed for divorce. To discuss the actions that you specifically took when you and your spouse decided to end your union with an experienced attorney, please reach out to our office today. Evidence of affirmative steps that were taken are also of the utmost importance in proving to a court when you separated.

Help for Your Divorce-Related Questions and Concerns

Evidence of specific dates can help you when attempting to claim specific assets during divorce. For help obtaining evidentiary support of your own separation, please reach out to experienced Florida divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.



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