Florida Statute 61.071- Alimony Pendente Lite (aka Temporary Alimony); Suit Money
“In every proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, a party may claim alimony and suit money in the petition or by motion, and if the petition is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor. If a party in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage claims alimony or suit money in his or her answer or by motion, and the answer or motion is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor.”
Often times there is a great disparity in incomes between spouses. This becomes even more apparent once a Petition for Dissolution is filed, and the spouse with the greater earnings, refuses to support the other spouse. To assist the spouse with the lesser of the two incomes from becoming destitute, one spouse may be ordered to provide necessary support for the other spouse while dissolution proceedings are ongoing.
The criteria for ordering such alimony are the need of one spouse and the other’s spouses to pay. The obligation to support one’s spouse if able is imposed by law while the marriage is still in existence and not extinguishable by contract or conduct.
Thus, while the parties can contract away post dissolution support by executing a prenuptial agreement, any agreement waiving temporary support prior to the entry of the Final Judgment is void. The procedural requisites for temporary support orders are not as demanding as a permanent alimony order would necessitate. This is due to the fact the one of the spouses may need immediate support prior to the completion of mandatory disclosure.