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Prior to divorcing, a couple may choose to separate as the first step toward marriage dissolution. As part of the separation process, a husband and wife will likely create a separation agreement that will later be finalized with the divorce decree.

Attorney Smith has more than 30 years of experience in guiding couples through issues such as separation, divorce and child custody. Contact us to discuss your concerns during a low-cost initial consultation.

Separation Considerations

Separation affords couples the option to end a marriage relationship without the permanence or connotations of divorce. For those with personal beliefs against divorce, separation allows spouses to live separate lives while remaining legally married. For those uncertain as to where their relationship will go, separation allows time to consider life goals and how the marriage commitment fits into your plans.

During a period of legal separation, together with their attorneys, the couple can negotiate and settle upon a separation agreement. This agreement will contain the same elements as that of a divorce, such as:

  • Property and debt division
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Retirement/Pension account division

If you are considering legal separation, now is a good time to take inventory of your assets and liabilities. Documents important to collect include prenuptial agreements, contracts, mortgages, tax returns, insurance policies and bank statements. By collecting these prior to discussing a separation agreement with your attorney, you will be able to save time and money associated with negotiation and court fees.


The hiring of a Florida lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Can I refuse visitation if my ex-spouse fails to pay child support?
No. You cannot refuse visitation, if it has been ordered by the Court, because your ex-spouse has failed to pay child support. The failure of a party to follow a court order should be brought to the attention of the Court. Therefore, if your ex-spouse violates a court order to pay child support, that issue should be brought to the Court’s attention.
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There has been an order of child support in my case, but my circumstances have changed. Is it possible to have the child support order modified?
The Court will look at a change in circumstances of the parties through a petition to modify support. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order, the Court may modify the order, based on those changed circumstances.
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My spouse has always controlled our finances. He/She makes the money and I don’t have access to funds to pay for an attorney. What do I do?
Most attorneys require an initial retainer before they will start working on your case. Many attorneys accept credit cards. Once the case reaches the court system, the Court may require your spouse to pay for your attorney’s fees.
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What is mediation?
Mediation is a process where the two parties get together and attempt to negotiate a settlement between the two, rather than having the judge make the final decision. Mediation can save time, money and misery. A settlement is not required, however, simply because you agree to mediate.
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How is marital property divided in Florida?
As a general rule, in the state of Florida, property acquired during the marriage is split evenly, despite whose name the property is in. With any general rule, there are exceptions. The courts can change the percentage depending on the parties’ specific circumstances.
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What if my spouse is hiding or misrepresenting his assets?
Each party must sign a sworn financial affidavit. If your spouse is hiding or misrepresenting his assets, you may be entitled to compensation relating to those hidden assets.
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