Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

During the course of a Miami divorce case, it is possible to seek temporary relief for issues such as alimony, child support and time-sharing. This is because a family law case can take a year or more to get to trial and in the meantime, a party may need financial or other relief that cannot wait that long. If a party seeks temporary alimony and child support, there are certain parameters the court must follow as seen in the case Maerssen v. Gerdts, 213 So.3d 952 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017). 

In this case, the court awarded the wife $6,500 in undifferentiated spousal and child support, Undifferentiated support means there was no specification as to how much of that amount was paid toward alimony and how much toward child support. At the hearing on temporary support, evidence was presented that the wife needed $4,500 per month in addition to the husband paying the mortgage and certain other expenses. The child support guidelines indicated the husband's payment should be $698 per month. 

The appellate court reversed this award of temporary, undifferentiated support, holding the order did not state whether or not the husband was to continue paying the mortgage and other expenses in addition to the $6,500 per month. If the husband were required to pay all of this, it would exceed his ability to pay and the wife's established need of $4,500 per month. The appellate court further held it was error to award undifferentiated support and the trial court was required to specify how much of the support was being awarded for child support and how much for alimony. 

Temporary alimony and child support awards in a Miami divorce are important considerations that should be examined when you prepare to file your Florida family law case. A consultation with a Miami divorce attorney can help you decide whether or not temporary relief is necessary in your case.