Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Divorce Lawyer
Schedule A Consultation Today! 813-490-5211 Hurricane Damage

Legal Agreements for Separated Couples Who Live Apart While Staying Married


In some cases, a couple will agree to separate while remaining married. The decision to do so is a personal one. You may not be ready for the finality of a divorce or there may be financial reasons for avoiding divorce. Regardless of your reasons, you will want to put certain things in writing. In this article, the Tampa, FL family law attorneys at Westchase Law, P.A. will discuss separation agreements for married couples who want to remain married while living apart.

While Florida doesn’t recognize separation under the law, it does allow couples to sign contracts that stipulate specific issues related to a separation. These are as enforceable as any contract.

Reasons to live apart while remaining married 

The decision to live apart while remaining married can include both personal and financial reasons. Some of the various reasons that couples offer for this type of arrangement include:

  • Financial benefits – Married couples are afforded specific tax advantages and once you divorce, you may no longer have access to certain retirement accounts. For this reason, a couple who chooses to stay married while living separately can continue to enjoy tax benefits and their retirement accounts without necessarily having to deal with one another on a day-to-day basis.
  • Parental concerns – Some parents believe that staying married with children is an important part of prioritizing their children’s stability. They may choose to physically separate from one another while maintaining their status as a married couple. This affords them the opportunity to maintain a united front while forestalling divorce proceedings until the children are grown and move out of the house or go to college.
  • Emotional considerations – For individuals who are pursuing their own personal growth, they may believe that physically separating from their spouse gives them the space they need to pursue their own goals. In these cases, a divorce may not be inevitable, and time apart may be just what the marriage needs.
  • Access to healthcare – Many access their healthcare coverage through workplace benefit plans that they could lose if they were to divorce. If one spouse’s plan supports the other spouse, particularly if they have pre-existing medical conditions, it can make sense for them to remain legally married so that they don’t lose access to their healthcare coverage.
  • Religious or cultural beliefs – In some cases, a couple may choose to remain married while physically separating due to religious or cultural beliefs related to divorce. Some religions discourage couples from divorcing.

Discussing separation agreements with your attorney 

Separation agreements can cover much of the same ground that divorce settlements cover. This includes financial concerns, property division, child custody, visitation schedules, and child support. It is important for you and your spouse to have a clear idea of your responsibilities during the separation period.

The Tampa, FL family law attorneys at Westchase Law, P.A. can help you hammer out a separation agreement that works for you. Call today to learn more.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn