If you have children and you are considering divorce, but you are not ready to take that step, you may be wondering if you are entitled to recover child support or alimony during a separation from your spouse. The short answer is “yes.” Although Florida does not recognize legal separations, there are protections available.
There are many reasons why couples may choose not to get divorced. In most cases, the couple wants to take time to work on their marriage and see if it can be saved. Other times, there are religious or monetary reasons for remaining married. Whatever your circumstance, if you are separated and your spouse is not helping with the living expenses for you and/or your children, it is time to seek legal help.
Although you are not seeking a divorce at this time, the court still considers spousal maintenance and child support as being so important that a divorce action is not required in order for you to seek and receive it. In fact, you do not have to be legally separated to receive it.
How does it work? The process is essentially the same as if you were asking for a divorce, but you are not required to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” You will be required to provide the court with the incomes of both spouses and the evidence supporting your need for alimony payments. You must also demonstrate the amount of the requested child support payments under the Florida child support guidelines.
The court will follow the same rules and procedures as if you were going through the divorce process. It will enter an order stating the alimony and/or child support award. This order can be enforced with contempt of court penalties for failure to pay the ordered amounts and with a garnishment if necessary.
If you are not divorced but you are in need of financial support from your spouse for yourself and/or children while you are living separately, let us help.
If you need assistance with your divorce, contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today. Our approach to family law is quite simple: we listen to you; we return your calls promptly; we keep you prepared and informed; we respect your time; we understand your concerns; and, most importantly, we care.