Florida Court Upholds Temporary Spousal Support Award

Many people take the practical measure of entering into prenuptial agreements prior to marrying. If their marriage ends in divorce, a party that consented to the terms of a prenuptial agreement cannot then attempt to evade them by arguing that they are vague or that the court lacks a basis for enforcing the provisions of the agreement. Rather, as shown in an opinion recently issued by a Florida court, if a court grants a party spousal support, in part due to the terms of a prenuptial agreement, it can be challenging to show that its decision constitutes an abuse of discretion. If you intend to marry and question whether you should execute a prenuptial agreement, it is smart to talk to a Miami family law attorney as soon as possible.

The Agreement in Question

It is alleged that the parties married in 2009. Shortly before marrying, they entered into a prenuptial agreement. They then separated in 2016, and in 2018 the wife filed a petition for dissolution and asked the court to enforce the prenuptial agreement. The court granted the wife temporary spousal support and post-dissolution spousal support. The husband appealed, arguing in part that the court abused its discretion in ordering him to pay temporary spousal support.

Demonstrating a Court Abused its Discretion in Granting Spousal Support

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The court noted that the prenuptial agreement provided that in the event the parties separated and filed a petition for dissolution, the husband was to pay the wife temporary support in the amount of $3,000 per month until the court issued a final judgment of dissolution.

In Florida, it is within the court’s broad discretion whether to award temporary spousal support, and a court’s decision will be upheld if the record includes substantial, competent evidence that will support the court’s determination. In the subject case, the husband argued that the trial court’s decision to award the wife temporary spousal support was based solely on the prenuptial agreement, and the record was devoid of any evidence to support the trial court’s ruling.

The court rejected the defendant’s assertions, noting that the final judgment confirmed that the trial court relied not only on the prenuptial agreement when ordering the husband to pay temporary support but also expressly held that the husband had the ability to pay such support and the wife demonstrated a need for temporary support. As such, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Talk to a Skilled Miami Attorney

Prenuptial agreements can help people protect their interests, but it is critical that parties draft such agreements carefully, as such agreements will most likely impact their rights and obligations in the event that they divorce. If you want to learn more about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, it is wise to talk to an attorney. The skilled Miami lawyers of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. can inform you of your rights and help you seek your desired outcome. Our office is in Aventura, and we regularly help parties with family law issues in Miami. You can reach us through our online form or at 800-596-0579 to set up a meeting.