Can I get financial support until our divorce is over?
If you are going through a divorce, you are entitled to certain rights that can only be enforced by the court. Therefore, if you have filed for divorce, you can petition the court to pass specific orders to protect your interests. One of these orders is for your spouse to support you financially before your divorce is finalized. Here are some of the basics of a temporary support order.
What is Temporary Support?
Temporary support is a kind of maintenance or alimony paid to one spouse by the other during divorce proceedings. It is also known as a pendente lite financial support. This means that the order is only valid until your divorce is finalized. A court usually awards the lower earning spouse enough support to cater for their basic needs pending the conclusion of divorce proceedings. Temporary support enables a spouse to keep up with their marital standard of living even after going through a separation.
Specifically, you are required to file a written petition or motion to the court explaining why you deserve temporary support. You should also produce evidence supporting your request. This includes bank records, pay stubs, rent payments, credit card bills, medical bills, and student loan balances. All these documents will help the court match your expenses against your income.
How Is Temporary Spousal Support Awarded?
The rules on whether you qualify for temporary support vary depending on where you reside. In many states, a judge will review the following factors before deciding whether to award temporary support:
- The financial condition of each spouse
- The requesting spouse’s need for support
- The financing spouse’s ability to meet the costs for support
- The age and health status of both spouses
- The employability and job experience of each spouse
- Each spouse’s work potential
- Each spouse’s share of blame for the divorce
Among all these factors, the court will mainly focus on the requesting spouse’s financial needs and the other spouse’s ability to pay for these needs.
Will Temporary Support Become Permanent?
Temporary support ends the moment your divorce is concluded. There are no guarantees that you will be entitled to alimony after you are divorced. The factors for deciding whether you will receive alimony are completely different from those used to determine temporary support. Typically temporary support is meant to help financially needy spouses prepare for the financial effects of being divorced. Permanent support is mostly awarded when there is a great difference in wealth between the spouses, when one of the spouses is unable to work or is disabled, or when the divorced parties were married for a long term.
Factors to Consider Before Seeking Financial Support
There is no guarantee that you will get financial support before your divorce is finalized. However, to increase your chances of receiving temporary support, you need to ensure that:
- There is a significant difference between your income and your spouse’s income
- You were not to blame or had little influence on the decision to get a divorce
- Your spouse is in a financial position to meet your needs
Apart from ensuring these conditions are met, you need a seasoned lawyer by your side to build a strong case for you to not only receive temporary support but also for you to receive alimony after the divorce is concluded.
The Take Away
Many spouses find themselves in a financial dilemma when they file for a divorce. It may not be easy for you to maintain your former lifestyle after a separation. However, one of the measures you can take to reclaim your former lifestyle is petitioning the court for a temporary support order.