When you go through a divorce, you’ll almost certainly have questions about many aspects of the process. Alimony is one issue people often wonder about, but mostly they think of it in the context of once the divorce is final. But it can also play an important role long before the divorce is completed.
How is temporary spousal support different?
Permanent spousal support refers to alimony which is ordered after the divorce, even though its usually not permanent. This is the type we tend to think of. But when we talk about temporary spousal support, what we’re talking about is when it’s ordered – not for how long it will last.
Imagine a scenario where a couple decides to divorce. One spouse had been the primary breadwinner throughout the marriage, while the other spouse has remained at home and raised the family, earning little to no income themselves. Pending the divorce, the breadwinning spouse moves out of the home, taking their income with them.
How will the stay-at-home spouse continue to pay the mortgage and care for the children? How will they be able to afford the legal expenses involved in a contested divorce? This is when temporary spousal support comes in. It exists to cover the period of time between the filing of the divorce and its finalization.
It is not granted automatically by the court – temporary spousal support must be requested by the spouse suffering a financial disadvantage. The court will then weigh many different factors and decide whether it should be ordered while the divorce is proceeding. Once the final divorce decree is issued, temporary spousal support ends and is replaced by permanent spousal support, if it too is ordered.