In Florida law, a formal dissolution of marriage (divorce) is not required to receive child support. Many are surprised to discover this because child support and divorce are terms that seem to always be accompanied with one another; however this is not always the case. There a number of scenarios which may involve two spouses who are separated indefinitely without a formal dissolution of marriage. For example, often spouses separate before divorce to have a cooling off period. Other times, spouses stay married to keep their spouse on their insurance health policy or other spousal benefit program. If the spouses share a child, these situations may create the need for a child support order.
How do I get child support without a divorce?
In order to obtain child support you need to inform the court of your request by filing a Petition for Support Unconnected with a Dissolution of Marriage. This procedure may also be used to request alimony without a divorce. If you feel that your spouse has the ability to contribute to your financial well-being but refuses to do so, this is the appropriate pleading for spousal support without a divorce. To speak with a family law attorney in Tallahassee, FL about spousal or child support (with or without a divorce), call us today.
It is always recommended that you use a competent family law attorney during this process. An attorney can help you insure that your petition, along with other necessary information, is both accurate and complete. Remember that every petition must also include ancillary pleadings, including a financial affidavit with your income, allowable deductions, and net income calculated (this serves as a financial basis for a judge’s ruling).
Can I petition for child support if I do not have custody of the child?
Yes, a spouse requesting child support through this method must currently be apart from the spouse that has custody of the child or children. You might be asking yourself why a spouse not in custody of the child would petition the court to establish a child support payment. The answer is that it is often times a quick alternative to legally settling any personal disputes over how much should be paid to support any minor children. Generally, the spouse with the majority of the time with the child is the child support recipient, but this is not always the case. As Tallahassee divorce lawyers, we have seen a variety of child and spousal support issues and we’re happy to have a consultation with you to discuss your particular issues.
Overall, petitioning for child support without a divorce is a unique and efficient method of preserving the legal status of a marriage, settling obligation arguments between two spouses, and acting in the best interest of any child involved.