In some cases, a party is not ready to file for divorce, or has no intention to divorce, but wants to ensure that he or she is receiving adequate financial support from his or her spouse. This is what alimony or child support unconnected to dissolution of marriage is for.
According to Florida Statute 61.09:
If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse and support of his or her minor child fails to do so, the spouse who is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and for support for the child without seeking dissolution of marriage, and the court shall enter an order as it deems just and proper.
In this type of case, the court will review the income of each party, and for purposes of alimony, the monthly expenses each spouse claims on his or her financial affidavit. Child support will be determined based on the incomes of the parties. In the case of a spouse who is not working, the court may impute that spouse to minimum wage for purposes of making the alimony and/or child support determination. This means the court will assign income to the non-working spouse in the calculations as if he or she is earning minimum wage.
In most cases, if a spouse finds it necessary to take his or her spouse to court to force support payments, divorce may be imminent. For this reason, some find it more useful to file a petition for dissolution of marriage since alimony and child support can be awarded in that proceeding.
To discuss if this type of petition is right for you, contact a Miami spousal support lawyer for your consultation options.