The financial consequences of a divorce will have a long-term impact on both parties and their children. Even in the initial stages of a divorce, financial hardships can have a significant impact on your ability to pay your monthly expenses and cope with the costs of divorce. However, there are procedures that permit for temporary relief that may both ease these financial burdens and place you on equal footing with your spouse. Florida divorce attorney James S. Cunha often seeks temporary alimony, child support, attorney fee advances and mortgage payments from the other party when he represents the lower wage earner in a West Palm Beach divorce.
There are many steps that an experienced Florida divorce attorney can take to cope with the financial challenges created by a pending divorce including:
Pendente Lite Alimony and Attorney’s Fees: This form of alimony may be sought based on a motion for temporary relief during a pending Florida divorce to permit the financially disadvantaged spouse to pay for expenses during a pending divorce including mortgage, rent, utility bills, food and other expenses. The court also may make interim lawyer’s fees advances so that the scales are balanced where there is a substantial difference in ability between the parties to afford legal representation. While temporary alimony orders are an area where judges have broad discretion in determining the amount of alimony, it cannot “exceed or exhaust a party’s income.” Bolton v. Bolton, 898 So. 2d 1084 (Fla.4th DCA 1991).
Temporary Child Support: The court also may award temporary child support during the pending divorce based on the Florida child support guidelines. This form of relief also is sought based on a motion for temporary relief. In addition to cash payments, child support may cover child care expenses and health insurance.
Exclusive Use and Possession of the Residence & Mortgage Payment Advances: Another form of temporary relief that may be awarded is temporary exclusive use of the family residence. This is a common arrangement if the children reside on a temporary basis primarily with one parent. The objective of such an arrangement is to provide increased stability for the children because they are not uprooted from the family home. Often the parent awarded exclusive use and possession of the family residence will be a stay at home parent with negligible income. The court may order the party not residing in the family residence to maintain the mortgage payments. If this arrangement is reached, the advances made toward the mortgage may be subsequently taken into account as part of the equitable distribution of property.
Temporary Use or Control of Assets or Funds: The court may also allow access to particular assets or funds as an interim measure that may be adjusted later based on the distribution of property and debts.
At the Law Offices of James S. Cunha, we know that you may have serious financial concerns about the divorce process so we pursue temporary orders that will ease the financial burdens associated with the divorce process. Call us at 561-429-3924 to schedule a consultation.