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Not Legally Separated But Living Apart? A Divorce Alternative In Florida

When a couple gets married, they don’t think about getting divorced soon or later in the future. Some people believe they are destined to be with their partners forever.

However, circumstances of life may not allow that. Your partner may fall out of love with you. Both of your personalities may also change so much that it can make your relationship incompatible.

This is why you may think of taking time apart by being not legally separated but living apart. It is an alternative to divorce that many couples in Florida opt for.

If you want to know more about the reasons behind not legally separated but living apart, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into its specifics.

What Does It Mean To Be Separated But Not Divorced?

An answer post on what does it mean to be not legally separated but living apart

Being not legally separated but living apart means that you and your partner are still married on paper. If someone asks you about your relationship status, it would be that you’re married.

However, you will be living apart from your spouse. For example, you may have separate houses or you may be living in different portions of the same home.

Separated couples take this action to take some time apart from each other and think about their marriage. Meanwhile, divorce is a final action that has severe irreversible consequences.

Couples that are not legally separated but living apart are those who think their marriage may be reparable. This is why they don’t opt for the final act of divorce in the hopes of working things out.

Not Legally Separated But Living Apart: Top 3 Reasons Couples Take This Route

An infographic on the reasons for not legally separated but living apart

Let’s look at the top reasons why couples may be not legally separated but living apart:

1.   Personal Reasons

Many personal reasons enable couples to choose the route of not legally separated but living apart. You may not want to divide your assets through the legal route yet. Both of you may not be able to afford high family lawyer fees.

This is why you may be living apart to earn enough to handle a simple divorce later. You may also think your marriage stands a chance if you and your partner take time apart.

Taking space may help each other realize the importance of your marriage. Another personal reason that affects separation is the demands of a spouse.

For example, you may not have lived up to your end of promises after getting married to your loved one. This is why they may have left you with the demand that you’ll be living apart until you fulfill all your promises such as:

  • Offering financial stability
  • Providing a personally owned marital home
  • Personal vehicle

Your spouse may love you, but they may still want the lifestyle you promised to offer them after marriage. So you may reach a verbal agreement of not legally separated but living apart.

The best thing about such separation is you and your partner will not be divorced yet.

2.   The Impact Of Divorce On Children 

One of the top reasons behind couples that are not legally separated but living apart is their children. When people bind themselves in a marriage, they don’t consider divorce in their future. You may believe your relationship is strong enough to last any obstacles.

However, that may not be the case. Of course, by the time divorce comes into question, you may have one or more kids. The process can affect your children’s mental health significantly.

For example, your youngest may be too attached to you and your spouse. The decision to divorce may cause them to withdraw from social aspects of life. They may also act out by refusing to go to school or getting into fights.

This is why you and your partner may consider being separated but not divorced until your kids are no longer minors. You and your spouse can care for your children being in the same house, but residing in different portions.

Being not legally separated but living apart may also help you prepare your kids for an upcoming divorce gradually. This action can make the children adjust to your new lifestyle.

So your kids may not be caught off guard once you divorce after one or more years of living apart while married.

3.   Financial Reasons

The final most important reason that causes couples to be not legally separated but living apart is financial aspects. You and your spouse may not want to give up on shared benefits that only couples are eligible for such as:

  • Spousal health insurance
  • Joint mortgage loans
  • Discounts for married couples

Being not legally separated but living apart will not change your marital status. This means you can enjoy all income and insurance benefits without the companies knowing about your separation.

The separation may also allow you to enhance your marriage duration because it does not affect the years you’re married. This means you will be eligible for benefits after passing specific duration marks.

For example, tax benefits are available after seven or ten years of marriage. Even if you live apart from your spouse, those years will still count towards your marriage.

What Are The Risks Of Not Legally Separated But Living Apart?

Risks of living apart without without legal separation

There are some financial risks of not legally separated but living apart. For example, if your partner sells off any property discretely during separation, you may not receive it in division during divorce.

Without a legal agreement, your other assets will also be vulnerable. That is because courts don’t recognize verbal agreements. Other risks include:

  • Improper management of debt
  • Losing child custody or equal time-sharing rights
  • Wasteful asset dissipation

Can You Get A Legal Separation In Florida?

An infographic on whether courts in Florida recognize legal separation

Courts in Florida don’t recognize legal separation. This means you can live apart from your spouse, but a judge will not recognize any problems that arise due to it later.

The most reliable option to be apart from a spouse is by pursuing a divorce in Florida. Some alternative agreements such as prenups can help you separate from your spouse without a divorce.

A family lawyer in Florida can help you understand these processes in detail.


Can You Separate But Still Live Together?

You can separate but still live together in the marital home. Some couples divide the portions of their houses until they reach a final separation agreement. Your presence in the house can also help with time-sharing with kids.

Is It Cheating If You Are Separated But Not Divorced?

If you date someone in a state where legal separation is invalid, you may be engaged in adultery. Your spouse may file charges against you especially if you’re not legally separated but living apart.

Am I Single If I Am Separated?

You’re not single if you separate from your spouse because your marriage is still valid on paper. Divorce is the only option to change your marital status.

What Is It Called When You Are Married But Separated?

Legal separation is the term for being married but separated from your spouse. However, this act is only applicable in some states of the US.

Final Thoughts 

These are the top three reasons behind couples not legally separated but living apart. If you want to learn more about how it works, you can consult a family lawyer.

Contact us today to get in touch with our team of expert lawyers in Florida.

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