Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

While Florida law states a court has discretion in awarding temporary relief, that discretion can be abused and is subject to review. In De La Piedra v. De La Piedra, 1D17-3203 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the husband appealed an order requiring him to pay temporary alimony, child support and attorneys' fees, and he won. 

The evidence showed the husband was an attorney who had supported the family during the marriage. The court ordered the husband to pay alimony and child support in an amount that would leave the husband with just $300 per month to meet his own living expenses and to support his two children, one of whom lived primarily with him and the other with whom he had equal time-sharing. 

On top of this, the husband was ordered to pay over $10,000 to the wife for attorneys' fees. The husband appealed, arguing he did not have the ability to pay the amounts ordered. The appellate court agreed, holding the trial court abused its discretion. Even if the alimony and child support amounts were upheld, the appellate court reasoned there was an error in awarding the attorneys' fees where the parties' financial standings were essentially equalized. However, the appellate court found the trial court did err in calculating alimony and child support because the husband was left with such minimal income. 

If you are facing an alimony judgment or you need alimony to be paid to you, consult with a Miami spousal support lawyer to learn about your best defenses and claims. A consultation may help you determine the best way to move forward.