There are various ways around the country to separate from a spouse. Most people are familiar with divorce, annulment and legal separation. However, the state of Florida does not formally recognize legal separation. Instead, couples will need to file for a "limited divorce," if that is the path they wish to pursue.
Everyone's situation is different, and you need to weigh all your options carefully. Filing for a regular divorce may not be right for everybody, especially if one spouse will still need the other spouse's benefits. Here are the basics of what you need to know about limited divorce.
What are the advantages of filing for a limited divorce?
A limited divorce consists of many of the same components as a regular divorce. The couple will need to appear in court to determine how much alimony one partner needs to pay the other, and the couple also needs to reach a consensus on child custody and support. Therefore, in the event the couple wishes to permanently separate later, it becomes much more straightforward because everything is already in place.
However, one of the main reasons why couples pursue a limited divorce is due to one spouse needing the other's health insurance. Most insurance plans still consider a couple with a limited divorce to still be a legally recognized couple. A limited divorce is also advantageous if there is still the possibility of reconciliation. The courts can easily undo a limited divorce if the couple wants to remain married in the future.
What are the drawbacks?
A limited divorce is only possible if both parties want it. If one spouse needs the other's health insurance, then that spouse may not see a reason to only go through a limited divorce. Additionally, a limited divorce requires both parties to submit individual income tax returns, and neither party can marry another person during the limited divorce.