Many Florida couples with marital problems opt to separate for a time as a way to ideally avoid a divorce, using time living apart to focus on how to rebuild their marriages. Some of the time, couples are able to successfully reunite and have fulfilling lives together. In other cases, however, couples still divorce despite their best efforts to remain married.

Working to save a marriage is certainly a worthy goal. However, women in particular, should pay special attention to some ways that entering into a separation lasting more than a year or so can end up hurting them if they do eventually get a divorce. It is still a fact in our culture that, in most marriages, the husband is the primary or larger wage earner. This means that the wife is more commonly the one entitled to spousal support if that is to happen at all.

A divorce settlement often leverages recent financial and lifestyle information. During a separation, a wife often has to lower her standard of living somewhat as finances can be tight. If she is able to do this for an extended period of time and seem to stay current on bills and expenses, a divorce judge may be more likely to award a smaller amount of support than if this had not occurred. This is just one way that a long-term separation may not be in a woman’s best interest.

If you are facing the end of a marriage and want to make sure that you protect yourself fully, you may consider a consultation with an attorney who is well-versed in the Florida divorce legal issues and laws. Sometimes there are things that a professional can guide you on that you may not otherwise consider.

Source: Forbes, “Putting Off Divorce? Ten Ways Long-term Separations Can Do Women More Harm Than Good,” Jeff Landers, October 3, 2013