Divorcing parties often separate before their divorce is finalized. When parties separate, even if by agreement, it does not mean that simply not having a court order means that a party is not entitled to alimony and/or child support. Spousal support is based on a need for support and the other party’s ability to pay, often this need is immediate and the party is entitled to receive funds from the date of the separation. Also, child support is designed to keep a child in the same lifestyle s/he would have if the parties were still living together, therefore, the need for child support is established at the time of the separation.
Florida Statute 61.09 allows for the determination of child support and alimony to be determined back to the date of separation. Florida Statute 61.09 states as follows:
“If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse and support of his or her minor child fails to do so, the spouse who is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and for support for the child without seeking dissolution of marriage, and the court shall enter an order as it deems just and proper.”
A Florida family law attorney can help guide you through the separation and divorce process and help you to better understand your rights and options.