Can I Request Financial Support From A Spouse Without Filing For Divorce?
Divorce isn’t for everyone. Some married couples, for instance, may no longer wish to live together, but may be uncomfortable with divorce, whether for practical, personal, or religious reasons. It is, however, still possible for one spouse to seek financial assistance, either in the form of alimony or child support, from the other, even though neither is attempting to dissolve the marriage, by filing a request for support without dissolution. For help determining whether you could qualify for support, consider reaching out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale legal separation lawyer in your area.
Who Can File for Support Without Dissolution?
In Florida, it is possible for a married individual to seek child support or alimony from a spouse without first filing for divorce. Referred to as a separate maintenance action, seeking support without dissolution is often attempted by couples who wish to become separated, but who don’t yet want to dissolve their marriage. Because Florida doesn’t recognize legal separation, filing for support without dissolution may be a couple’s only alternative. A couple’s religious beliefs may also present problems when it comes to dissolving a marriage, as many religions don’t permit divorce.
Many other couples are reluctant to go through with a divorce when their children are still living at home. Requesting support without dissolution can provide a way for families to avoid the stress of divorce, while still ensuring that their children are financially provided for. Finally, under Florida law, at least one spouse must have been a Florida resident for at least six months before he or she can file for divorce. This same residency requirement is not, however, necessary when requesting support without a dissolution, making this an extremely appealing option to new residents.
The Court’s Determination: Child Support and Alimony
When someone requests child support by petitioning for support without dissolution, a court will make a determination by implementing the state’s child support guidelines. These guidelines take both parents’ incomes into consideration, as well as the number of children being supported and the family’s expenses. Unlike a divorce action, these kinds of proceedings don’t require parents to come up with a custody arrangement, although courts have discretion to establish these arrangements on the parties’ behalf.
Courts will engage in a similar assessment when deciding whether or not to award alimony to someone who is seeking support without divorce. To this end, both parties will be required to submit a financial affidavit, detailing their income, investments, and other holdings. A judge will not, however, be tasked with dividing the couple’s remaining property.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
If you and your spouse aren’t ready to divorce, but you are struggling to make ends meet, requesting support without dissolution may be your best option. To learn more about this process, please call dedicated Florida legal separation lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today. You can also set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by completing one of our brief online contact forms.