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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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my husband packed a bag and left the home about six weeks ago.

Resolved Question:

my husband packed a bag and left the home about six weeks ago. he has been living at his girlfriend's home and has returned from time to time (for about five minutes) to pick up more clothes or check mail. He has stopped paying for food but continues to pay for mortgage and insurance. I need him to contribute- our 20 year old son leaves at home while attending University-- I'm self employed while he continues to draw an ample salary; he sold his company last December but we did not see any portion of what he received. How do I compel him to at least start paying household expenses?

Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. I need just a bit more additional information. To start:

Brandon M. :

1. What are your gross earnings? What are the gross earnings of your husband?

Brandon M. :

2. For how long have you been married to your husband?

Brandon M. :

3. Is it your intention to divorce your husband?

Customer:

about 50k. Married over 21 years. I was tryign to avoid divorcing him, because he is ill, but now I have no choice.

Customer:

about 50k. Married over 21 years. I was trying to avoid divorcing him, because he is ill, but now I have no choice

Customer:

????

Brandon M. :

Thank you. When do you intend to initiate a divorce, if you have decided?

Customer:

Very soon. with two homes, i need his support urgently.

Brandon M. :

You said "about 50K", are you both earning about 50K per year?

Customer:

No, he sold his company, and received a sum that I know nothing about. he makes about 150k per year (more or less)

Brandon M. :

Ok, so on top of the proceeds from the sale of his company, he earns approximately $150K per year while you earn approximately $50K per year, correct?

Customer:

yes. My monthly office expenses are about 5,000 per month, so my gross earnings are about 100,000, I have made a very gross calculation since i filed an extension for taxes. 50k would be my salary

Brandon M. :

Thank you for that information. Please allow me to explain how the law works in Florida:

Customer:

Please

Brandon M. :

I should start by saying that because the nuances of every case are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. That said, there are really two components to the question. The first component is what relief may be available to the custodial parent for an adult child attending University in Florida, and the second is what relief may be available to a spouse of 21 years when the couple separates and there is a significant disparity in their incomes and resources....

Customer:

another fact is that the disparity in income is recent. up to about 2010 I made considerably more than he did and assumed responsibility for a big portion of our expenses. My income dropped and now that he can make a difference he abandons our home.

Brandon M. :

The answer to the first question is that there is generally no relief available for the parent of an adult child by virtue of their relationship to that adult child. A small handful of states permit child support to be ordered to assist with an adult child's education beyond the age of majority (18), but Florida is not one of those states. In Florida, a parent cannot be compelled to provide support for their 20 year old, able-bodied child, regardless of whether that child is attending school in any capacity. However, the answer to the question of support available directly to the spouse is quite different...

Brandon M. :

For a marriage of 21 years, a lesser-earning spouse is generally entitled to collect substantial support (oftentimes called alimony) from the spouse with higher earnings. Under Florida Statute 61.08, the court considers several factors when deciding whether to award support, and when deciding how much support to award. Those factors are:

Brandon M. :

all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to: (1) The standard of living established while married. (2) The length of the marriage. (3) The age and health of each party. (4) The financial resources and assets of each party. (5) When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment. (6) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party. (7) All sources of income available to either party.

Brandon M. :

The court may also consider any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Customer:

1. Quite high.

Brandon M. :

Every case is different, and as I mentioned, there are multiple factors considered, but when one spouse earns $150K per year and the other earns $50K per year, for a 20+ year marriage, you would typically expect support to be a minimum of $2,000 per month, and usually much more.

Brandon M. :

I wouldn't try to estimate the support that you might be entitled to in your case because there is simply no way to competently do so without examining your case in person, but I give you the $2,000 minimum as a point of general information. Realistically, I've seen support orders easily go as high as $4,000 per month in those situations.

Brandon M. :

If the decision has been made to initiate a divorce, the cleanest way to address the issue of support is usually to just file for divorce. Support can be ordered as a part of that filing. Any support sought separate from a divorce creates multiple filings with multiple cases... it can be done, but it's not efficient.

Customer:

2. 21 years; (3) he is 63 in remission from cancer treatment; I'm 59 and healthy; (4) we own two homes; over the years he has contributed 50% of the expenses to the less expensive home and none to the other, although he has certainly enjoyed it (5) we are highly trained professionals; (6) I have contributed roughly 70% of all expenses over the years; and (7) he has savings, IRA. and other retirement accounts, and a healthy salary. Once I file, can I receive an order for support while the case is pending ?

Brandon M. :

Support can, and typically is, ordered while a divorce is pending. Support ordered before a divorce is finalized is called "pendente lite" support (pronounced "pen-den-tay lee-tay").

Brandon M. :

So I certainly understand the stress that this is causing you, but the law in Florida doesn't let one spouse to just walk away from a marriage with no obligation to the other spouse. After 20 years together, any success that either spouse has can be attributed in part to the contributions of the other, and the law recognizes that contribution.

Brandon M. :

Does all of that make sense?

Customer:

Yes. And I thank you.

Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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