What is Temporary Spousal Support?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Temporary spousal support are funds payable to one spouse by the other until a divorce is filed or finalized. A judge generally determines which spouse should be compensated and how much he or she should receive based on financial statements from the two parties. The awarded amount should allow the recipient to maintain his or her previous lifestyle. Individuals can qualify for this type of compensation even if they do not have children and they work.

Temporary spousal support is common in one of two situations. If a couple has separated but has not filed for divorce, the disadvantaged individual may use this type of maintenance to support her lifestyle. For the same reason, this type of maintenance may be awarded when a couple has filed for divorce but is waiting for it to be finalized.

Either spouse can be awarded this type of temporary spousal support. Although most people associate alimony with female recipients, there are men who qualify to be paid by their wives. Sex is not the determining factor. The ability to provide for oneself is what matters.

It is also important to note that individuals may have a court order temporary spousal support even if their spouses are already providing them with some money or caring for certain expenses. A person does not have to gratefully accept whatever her spouse wants to give her. When the matter is determined in court, a judge will decide how much should be paid, and his order will be legally binding. This decision is generally based on an assessment of the financial statements that the two parties will be required to submit. The amount that the judge decides upon will generally be enough to allow the recipient to live in a matter that is equal or comparable to the way she lived while married.

To obtain temporary spousal support, a person generally must initiate the process by filing a motion with the appropriate family court. A person whose divorce is being handled by a lawyer should not prematurely conclude that she does not qualify because the lawyer has not informed her of this option. She should also avoid assuming that she does not qualify simply because she works. Individuals do not need to have a child to receive temporary spousal support. This is not the same as child support, although the amount awarded can be affected by the presence of children.

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