Alimony is financial support that is paid by one ex-spouse to another after a marriage has legally ended. It may be for a certain time period, or could be permanent, meaning that it ends when one of the spouses dies or if the recipient of the alimony remarries.
Alimony can also be modified or terminated by a change in circumstances, such as if the recipient lives with an unrelated person in a supportive relationship.
Separate maintenance is financial support paid from one spouse to another while they are still married to each other. Separate maintenance is ordered if a spouse refuses to financially support the other spouse, and the other spouse has a genuine need for the support.
Separate maintenance is usually awarded in cases where a divorce is not appropriate or available, such as if the parties don’t have a desire to get divorced. Separate maintenance is used to determine a spouse’s right for the use of property, to get spousal support or child support, or for other purposes without actually dissolving the marriage.
An action for separate maintenance can be filed in Florida as an action that is separate from a divorce. It can also be filed as a part of a divorce action, if the other spouse is likely to answer that the marriage is not irretrievably broken. Typically, a court will either award alimony after a divorce is final, and may award temporary alimony while it is ongoing, or will award separate maintenance instead of a divorce.
If you are not receiving the financial support you need from your spouse, but do not wish to file for divorce, you may consider filing for separate maintenance. Call Florida alimony attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250.
He works in New Port Richey, and also serves Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida, and can help you with an action for divorce or separate maintenance. Call to set up a consultation!