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Temporary alimony is often at issue in situations where one spouse is the sole wage-earner or the higher wage-earner.
Many individuals who seriously contemplate divorce often want to know whether they will be required to pay temporary spousal support/alimony. On the other hand, a married individual may want to know whether they are eligible to receive spousal support/alimony
Florida Statutes Section 61.071 authorizes Florida family courts to award temporary alimony in a divorce case. Section 61.071 does not provide any guidelines to determine the amount of temporary alimony or spousal support a court may order. That section provides:
In every proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, a party may claim alimony and suit money in the petition or by motion, and if the petition is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor. If a party in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage claims alimony or suit money in his or her answer or by motion, and the answer or motion is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor.
However, temporary alimony will be based on the following factors:
- need of the parties,
- ability of the parties to pay, and
- standard of living during the marriage.
See Herr v. Herr, 463 So.2d 447 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986).
In considering whether to award temporary alimony, a Florida family/divorce court will consider the respective income of the parties, their expenses and financial obligations. Because of this, the accuracy of the financial affidavits submitted by the parties is extremely important.
Temporary alimony awards must be supported by the evidence, showing one spouse’s need for alimony and the other’s ability to pay. The court may consider adultery or other marital misconduct.
It is important to note that Florida family law and divorce courts have relatively wide discretion in awarding temporary relief awards, such as temporary alimony or support. A court order awarding temporary alimony in a divorce case is not taken lightly. However, it is important to note that a temporary alimony award is just that, temporary. It does not necessarily indicate how the court will rule at the final divorce hearing or trial.
Help Filing for Divorce in Orange and Osceola Counties, Florida
If you would like more information about obtaining a divorce in Orange and Osceola Counties, please contact Divorce Attorney Steen J. Brown.