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5 Simple Steps on How to ask for Temporary Support while a Divorce is Pending

In most cases, one spouse earns more than the other. Some people have a hard time paying the bills after they have separated. But what happens when a divorce has been filed? Can you ask the Court to require your spouse to financially support you while the divorce is pending? Can you ask the Court to require your spouse to help pay for your attorney? The answer is YES! Here's how:

Florida Courts have the statutory authority to award a reasonable sum as temporary alimony when a spouse requests same in a petition, motion, or answer to a petition. Of course, the spouse requesting the temporary support must show the court that he or she is in need of support while the divorce is pending.

I have found through my experience that the quickest way to present the request for temporary support before the Court is to file a motion requesting temporary support and set it for hearing.

In Florida, trial courts have the broadest discretion in awarding temporary support while a divorce is pending.

Can the Court require a party to pay for their spouse’s attorney’s fees?

Florida Statute § 61.16(1) authorizes the court to order a party to pay a reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs to the other party in a dissolution action. The standard for an award of attorney’s fees in divorce cases is the financial need of the requesting party and the financial ability of the other party to pay. That is key.

In Florida, temporary relief awards “are among the areas where trial judges have the very broadest discretion, which appellate courts are very reluctant to interfere with except under the most compelling of circumstances.” Pedraja v. Garcia, 667 So. 2d 461, 462 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996).

How to ask for support while divorce is pending:

So, if you are in need of support and your spouse has the financial ability to support you during the pendency of the divorce, request it for this relief in your petition, motion, or answer. Here’s how to make the request via a motion

  1. Draft a Motion for Temporary Support, stating that you “are in need of support during the pendency of the litigation” and that your spouse “has the ability to provide support”. A court will not award you temporary support if you do not request it.
  2. File the Motion by either sending it to your local courthouse where the case is pending, or filing it via the Florida E-Filing Portal.
  3. Before setting the Motion for hearing, make sure you have submitted your mandatory disclosures to the other spouse, including your financial affidavit. A court will not set your Motion for hearing if your mandatory disclosures are not completed.
  4. Once your certificate of compliance with mandatory disclosures has been filed with the court–and your documents provided to your spouse–contact the judge’s judicial assistant and request for a hearing date. The judicial assistant will need to contact your spouse of his/her attorney to coordinate a date that works for everyone. The judge’s information can be found in each respective circuit court‘s website.
  5. Once a date is set, you will need to submit a Notice of Hearing containing the date, time, courtroom, and motion to be heard.

Make sure to provide your spouse with a copy of the Motion and Notice of Hearing. Bring extra copies of the Motion with you to provide one to the judge, if necessary.

As always, we encourage your questions, comments, and concerns in order for us to improve the contact of our blog. We look forward to hearing from you…best of luck!

If you have questions about how to request temporary support or questions about the divorce process, it’s best to ask a qualified family attorney. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

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