Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

Temporary alimony can be awarded while a Florida dissolution of marriage case is pending. The same analysis applies to temporary alimony awards as in the case of alimony awarded in a final judgment - the court must find there is a need for support and that the other spouse has the ability to pay it. Do anticipated expenses count as "need" for the spouse asking for expenses? We find out in the appellate case Ard v. Ard, 208 So.3d 1288 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017). 

In the Ard case, the wife offered testimony about expenses she would incur when she moved from her mother's home where she was living rent-free for the previous four years. There was no evidence offered as to when the wife would actually move out of her mother's home. With just the wife's testimony that she wanted to move from her mother's home without competent substantial evidence showing she had solid plans to move, there was no showing that she had a present need for alimony, and therefore the award was reversed by the appellate court. 

An award of alimony cannot be based on projected expenses that are not sure to occur. In this case, had the wife shown that she signed a lease obligating her to pay a certain amount per month, the appellate court may have ruled in her favor since she actually had an obligation to pay the lease amounts. Without these "real" expenses, the wife could have stayed living at her mother's home and collected alimony which she actually did not need since she was living rent-free. 

Temporary alimony awards may be at issue in cases in which one spouse earns substantially more income than the other spouse. Whether you are seeking alimony payments or are defending against paying them, you may give yourself the best chance of success if you consult with a Miami divorce attorney familiar with Florida spousal support laws.