Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a tool used by judges during and after a divorce to help create a fair financial situation for both parties. In marriages, one spouse may do most or all of the housework and child-rearing while the other earns most or all of the income. This can lead to strange results when finances are suddenly divided.
In many cases, alimony will be awarded after the divorce to allow the spouse who earns less to get back on his or her feet and reenter the workforce. In other cases, permanent awards may be granted to spouses who are expected to need support indefinitely. This is a possibility when the economically dependent spouse is disabled or retired.
Alimony is helpful after a divorce, but what happens during the divorce process? The immediate aftermath of a couple splitting up is often the time when one of the partners has the greatest financial need. For this reason, Florida courts award temporary alimony, also called alimony pendente lite (Latin for “pending litigation”).
Temporary alimony can be ordered by a judge early in the divorce process and last until the divorce is finalized. This type of order allows the economically dependent spouse to take care of basic expenses such as groceries and utilities during the course of divorce proceedings. It may also cover other expenses, allowing the recipient to maintain the lifestyle he or she enjoyed during the marriage.
Because a final divorce decree will either contain a new alimony award or a decision against awarding alimony, temporary alimony payments come to an end as soon as the divorce is finalized.
At the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our Florida family law attorneys assist clients with all aspects of the divorce process including seeking temporary, rehabilitative or permanent alimony.