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Temporary Alimony In Florida Divorce Cases


Permanent alimony is the exception rather than the rule in Florida divorce cases; the court will only order it if the couple was married for at least 17 years and the lower income spouse is retired or unable to work for health reasons.  Does this mean that all other alimony is temporary alimony?  Yes and no.  Florida law allows courts to choose among six types of alimony, and except for permanent alimony, they all have a predetermined end date.  Florida courts use the term “temporary alimony” to refer to only one of the six types, though.  Temporary alimony is also called pendente lite alimony, which is a Latin phrase meaning “while the legal case is pending.”  Therefore, temporary alimony is alimony that one spouse pays the other while the divorce case is still going on.  It automatically ends when the divorce becomes final, at which point it may or may not be replaced by another type of alimony.  To find out more about your right to temporary alimony, contact a Boca Raton alimony lawyer.

What Is the Point of Temporary Alimony?

In short-term marriages, the court aspires to return each spouse to his or her former financial situation, as if the divorce had never happened.  Imagine that Richie and Goldie were married for a year before filing for divorce, and his income is ten times as high as hers.  They have agreed to sell their marital home on Deerfield Cay when the divorce becomes final, and Richie will receive a larger share of the proceeds than Goldie.  If Goldie stays in the marital home during the divorce litigation, she will not be able to afford the mortgage payments and utilities, while Richie can easily afford to rent a house on Jupiter Island.  If Richie stays in the marital home, Goldie will only be able to afford an iguana infested apartment somewhere on Pedestrian Accident Alley.

Therefore, the fairest solution is for Richie to pay temporary alimony to Goldie, either to cover the expenses of the marital home or to enable her to rent a house where she can have a comparable lifestyle to the couple’s marital standard of living.  In either case, Goldie will have to downsize her lifestyle after the divorce becomes final.

Are You Eligible for Temporary Alimony?

If your divorce has been filed but is not yet final, and if you earn substantially less income than your spouse, you are probably entitled to temporary alimony.  Once the divorce is final, all bets are off, but spouses have financial obligations to each other as long as they are still legally married to each other.

Contact Schwartz | White About Disputes Over Temporary Alimony

Your spouse does not have the right to wash their hands of you until the court finalizes your divorce.  A South Florida family law attorney can help you if your spouse is trying to nickel and dime you out of the money you need for basic living expenses before your divorce has even become final.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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