Section 61.09 of the Florida Statutes allows a spouse to request alimony (also referred to as “separate maintenance” or “spousal support”) and/or child support without asking for divorce.
There are various reasons why a spouse may file a case for support without asking for a divorce:
- Florida does not recognize the status of “legal separation,” so this process allows a spouse to have a trial period apart without having to make a decision regarding divorce;
- A party may not want a divorce because of religious beliefs;
- A spouse may not want to go through a divorce while his or her children are still under the age of 18 or living in the home; or
- A person may not have met the six month residency requirement to file for divorce (Florida requires that at least one party to a divorce reside in the state for at least six months prior to the filing of divorce; a proceeding for support unconnected to divorce has no such residency requirement).
In a proceeding for support unconnected with divorce, a Florida family court judge will award child support based on Florida’s child support guidelines and will award alimony based on one party’s need for financial support and the other party’s ability to pay.
If you have questions regarding support unconnected with divorce and you wish to schedule a consultation with a Tampa Bay family law attorney, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.