A common concern of individuals going through a divorce is the time that the process may take and what they will be left to do during the pendency of the proceedings. For instance, many are uncertain of where their financial security or income may come from if their spouse is the breadwinner, or what action they should take regarding their child custody during the time before a final ruling is entered in their divorce. This is when your Florida Divorce Attorney would recommend a Motion for Temporary Relief to be filed in your case.
A Motion for Temporary Relief can request the temporary use of certain assets such as the marital home, or vehicles, assign temporary responsibility for certain liabilities and household bills, award temporary spousal support, define a temporary parenting plan, award temporary child support, award temporary payment of attorney’s fees, and any other relief necessary for the parties during the pendency of the action. This motion will be served on your spouse and set for a hearing before the court. Prior to filing this motion, the court requires each party to file a Family Law Financial Affidavit, have complied with the exchange of Mandatory Disclosure, file a proposed Parenting Plan, and a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. This provides the court and each party with a proper understanding of the disputed assets, and need and ability to pay alimony or attorney’s fees, as well as the ability to determine a proper child support award and timesharing schedule.
If you have filed and are requesting the Temporary Relief, you have the burden of proving to the court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that circumstances exist in which you need temporary relief in some manner. When considering the award of certain assets on a temporary basis, the court looks for the equitable response in temporary relief. If there has been domestic violence in the home, the court will likely award the marital home to one party as to remove the possibility of further abuse. Similarly, the court will award vehicles in the manner they are typically used between the spouses as this would be equitable. Regarding payment of alimony or attorney’s fees, the court will look specifically at the financial status of the parties to determine a need and ability to pay. If there is a significant discrepancy in the incomes or assets available to the party that would prevent a spouse from retaining adequate or equitable counsel, the court may award attorney’s fees in order to remedy this inequality. Similarly, if one party is the sole breadwinner while the other has remained home with the children, alimony may be necessary to fulfill the temporary needs of the spouse with the lesser income. The court, during this time, looks for equity through the factual evidence presented. Therefore, it is important to have your financial documents available and ready to provide to the court to argue your needs. Finally, a temporary parenting plan and child support order will be evaluated based upon the same statutory factors of an initial order. The court will look to the best interest of the child as well as the income of parents and apply them to a reasonable plan for the temporary time.
If you are struggling with the financial aspects of your divorce, or child custody arrangement during the pendency of the proceedings, discuss with your Florida Divorce Attorney your concerns and the possibility of filing a Motion for Temporary Relief.
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