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What can I ask a New York Divorce Court to order while the divorce is ongoing?

January 2, 2018

A New York divorce can take months. Prolonged cases can take as long as a year. When you’re getting divorced, you may not have time to wait for a final judgment. You may need the court to make orders now. Fortunately, you can ask the New York divorce court for certain types of orders while your divorce is ongoing. You can ask for court orders regarding child custody, child support, occupancy of the home, health insurance and even financial maintenance.

Chld custody

When couples begin a divorce, they usually split into two residences. That means the kids can’t wait for a final order for custody. Without a temporary order, there’s no fixed schedule to require each parent to provide the children with access to the other parent. Putting a temporary order in place can assure the kids that they’ll continue to have contact with both of their parents until the divorce is final.

In New York, temporary custody is often called custody pendente lite. A temporary custody order can be tailored to the individual circumstances of the case. It can be modified while the case pends. When the case is finalized, temporary orders are extinguished. If the temporary order becomes the final order, the final judgment typically states that the temporary custody order is incorporated into the final judgment.

The court decides temporary custody in the same way that they decide a final custody order. They look at the best interests of the children. Just like in a final order, the court can temporarily award both legal and physical custody. You may need to work quickly to present the court with the evidence to show why the court should order the temporary custody arrangement that you’re asking for.

Child support

With child custody comes a need for child support. Children whose parents are getting divorced have a right to financial support from both parents. When you begin the divorce process in New York, the court orders you to complete a financial affidavit. The affidavit tells the court how much each parent has available to pay support. If one parent doesn’t complete the form, the court can fashion a support award without their input.

Child support in New York is based on a formula. It’s a calculation based on each parent’s income and their ability to pay. The court can also consider special needs of the children like medical needs and child care expenses. A decision regarding temporary child support also depends on where the children sleep most of the time. The parent who has the most overnights with the child receives child support.

Exclusive use of the marital home

Even though the marital home may be marital property, in many divorce cases, it’s not safe or practical for the parties to continue to share the marital home. You may be able to ask the court to award you exclusive possession of the marital home. Giving one party exclusive access to the home is seen as an unusual remedy. It’s most-often used in cases of domestic violence. In cases where it’s appropriate, temporary exclusive use of the marital home while the divorce is pending can give you safety as well as peace while you await further proceedings.

Health insurance

In many cases, one of the spouses takes care of the home or only works part time. When the couple divorces, that spouse may need some help establishing financial independence. One of the big question marks for the lower-earning spouse is often health insurance. You may be able to ask the court to order your spouse to keep you on their health insurance until your divorce is final. In addition, health insurance is a common part of a child support order, so you can ask for the other spouse to continue to provide health insurance while the case pends in court.

Temporary alimony

It’s common for a spouse to need help with financial support while a case is pending. You need to provide for your basic expenses. When a split happens quickly, you may need some help getting back on your feet. The court can order spousal support on a temporary basis until you finalize your case. In New York, this is called temporary maintenance. Like child support, temporary maintenance is based on the income of both parents. The court is allowed to make exceptions in extraordinary circumstances.

How to ask for temporary orders

A New York divorce attorney can help you ask for the appropriate temporary orders in your case. They can help you determine if you qualify for a temporary order and what you need to do in order to make a request. You may need to quickly gather evidence to prove the facts of your case, and your attorney can help you determine what you need to prove your case. They can help you gather the evidence to make your petition successful.

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