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Florida Family Law

Can You Get Alimony if You’re Not Yet Divorced?

Spousal Support Before Divorce

 

When a marriage can no longer be saved, some couples opt for separation instead of divorce. A separation is often the preferred option for couples either looking to take a break in order to repair their marriage, whose religious convictions oppose the dissolution of marriage, or those who are no longer romantically involved but rely on the financial and tax benefits of their marital status. In the state of Florida, couples who become separated but not yet divorced may be eligible for spousal support benefits such as alimony.

Separate Maintenance

Under Florida Statute 61.09, “separate maintenance” allows one spouse to receive financial support similar to alimony from the other spouse before, during, and after a legal separation. Pursuant to this statute, a spouse who is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and for support for the child(ren) without seeking a dissolution of marriage. The separate maintenance process allows couples time to amicably dissolve their union while avoiding financial ruin and potential heartache. The action doesn’t necessarily have to end in divorce as it can continue maintaining perpetual separation until reconciliation or death.

Alimony

Florida law requires spouses to financially support each other — even if they are separated and not yet divorced. The spousal support known as alimony is one spouse’s obligation to provide the other spouse with the financial support needed to maintain their established standard of living and alleviate any financial disparity between the two parties. In determining whether an award of alimony is appropriate, the court must first make the following two factual determinations:

  1. One party has an actual need for alimony.
  2. The other party has an ability to pay alimony.

If one party of a separated couple has the financial ability to contribute to the maintenance of the other spouse but refuses, the court may be petitioned for alimony. Whether or not a spouse is awarded alimony during a separation depends on the skills of their divorce attorney.

If you are seeking alimony or trying to prevent paying alimony during a separation or divorce, contact the experienced divorce attorneys at The Roberts Family Law Firm, P.A. in Orlando, for legal representation. Call us today at 407-426-6999 to learn more about our experience and services.

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