In Florida, there is no requirement that spouses be “legally separated” before filing for or obtaining a divorce—the only requirement is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” What happens if neither party wishes to file a petition for divorce? A separate maintenance order can allow spouses to secure an order for support without dissolving the marriage. In a separate maintenance action, the court considers many of the same factors for these issues as it would for a divorce. Couples might seek separate maintenance actions instead of divorce for reasons such as:
- Reliance on health insurance
- To maximize Social Security, pension or military benefits
- For religious reasons that prohibit divorce
- A desire to avoid the finality of divorce
Separate maintenance can provide financial relief for a spouse before residency requirements for divorce are met.
Whether you are considering filing an action for separate maintenance, or “support unconnected with dissolution,” or whether your spouse is seeking to file such action against you, the attorneys at Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. can provide legal assistance to meet your needs. If you would like more detailed information regarding your rights and obligations, please contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys at our office in Naples, Florida.