My husband and I separated a year ago. He left me with no money and I am disabled; can I seek immediate support? 2 Answers as of August 08, 2012

We married and lived in CA. When we separated, he walked out and left me, disabled, to clear out the home we rented. My mom had to fly out from Maine to help me and since he left me broke, I had to move back to Maine to live with my folks, who are struggling themselves, financially and with health. Two months after I left CA, he left a great job and moved to TX. After 6 months in Maine, my folks decided for all of our health, to move to FL. He cancelled my health insurance 3 months after we separated, leaving me unable to get the medications I need. This has caused my disease to rapidly progress and the damage is irreversible. He also stopped paying for the vehicle I drove and the insurance, without telling me, so I was driving it for months, unregistered and uninsured. He threatened me about many things and said if a judge orders him to pay me anything, he will disappear, which is why I've held off seeking spousal support. But, because of that, I have struggled beyond words this past year. I can't do it any longer. My father recently suffered a heart attack so now we are even more in the hole. I know my ex makes very good money and doesn’t have much debt. Our whole marriage revolved around him, his career, his education, and paying his bills, so he has excellent credit and I never did anything for me, to better my life. He was verbally abusive. I am too embarrassed to say how he treated me after having both my knees replaced. So, my question is, now that I've met the 6 month residency requirement for FL, can I seek immediate spousal support until I’m able to file for divorce?

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Robert J. Merlin, P.A.
Robert J. Merlin, P.A. | Robert J. Merlin
You have the right to file an action in Florida under Florida Statues Section 61.09 for support unconnected with a dissolution of marriage action. But that is only a temporary fix. Florida has jurisdiction to dissolve your marriage, but not to award permanent alimony to you because the two of you never lived together in Florida. California is the last state that you both lived together in, but he lives in Texas now, which may be the best state to file in. Perhaps filing to get immediate support in Florida may be a good first step, but you should seriously consider filing in Texas to get all of the relief that you need. Good luck and best wishes to you.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/8/2012
R. Jason de Groot, P.A
R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
You can file a petition for support unconnected to dissolution, but your biggest problem is that Florida may not have jurisdiction over him. The best thing for you to do is get to a family law attorney in your area soon to discuss the particulars and what you can possibly seek. Alimony is awarded if the marriage was of sufficient duration, this may be another problem you have. If it was a short term marriage, you may not get any alimony. Get to an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/8/2012
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