When a couple begins the divorce process, one spouse may seek temporary spousal support. Working through a divorce can be a financially tumultuous time, especially when one spouse decides to move out of the family home. Both partners must adjust to living on single incomes during this time and fewer financial resources coupled with court costs, lawyer fees, and any additional divorce-related expenses like childcare while attending lawyer meetings and the costs of hiring outside professionals to aid in the divorce process can quickly sink both partners into a deep financial hole. Temporary spousal support can help the lesser earning spouse avoid this hardship.
Seeking Temporary Spousal Support
To seek temporary spousal support, you must file a Motion for Temporary Orders and request a temporary spousal support hearing. At the hearing, you must demonstrate to the court that you need the temporary spousal support to cover your living expenses. The court considers many of the same factors it considers when determining alimony when it develops a temporary spousal support order, such as:
● Your employment history and vocational skills;
● Your current income as well as your spouse’s current income; and
● The standard of living established during your marriage.
The court may determine that temporary spousal support is appropriate for a specific period of time, such as three or four months, or that it is necessary for you to receive temporary support until your divorce is finalized. It is possible to modify a temporary spousal support order after it has been established if your circumstances have changed significantly, but in order to obtain a modification, you must provide evidence of your changed circumstances to the court. Although the court looks at various factors about a couple’s lifestyle and the needs of the spouse seeking temporary support, overall there are fewer requirements for a temporary spousal support order than there are for a spousal maintenance order or a contractual maintenance order.
Temporary Spousal Support is Not Alimony
In Texas, alimony is known as spousal maintenance. Temporary spousal support is not a type of spousal maintenance. It can be easy to confuse the two because they are both money paid from one spouse to the other to protect the recipient from facing financial hardship, and in many cases, spousal maintenance is not awarded permanently.
But temporary spousal support can only be awarded while a couple’s divorce is pending. Once their divorce is finalized, their spousal maintenance order – if one is part of their divorce settlement – goes into effect.
Work with an Experienced Austin Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering filing for divorce, first discuss your case in detail with an experienced divorce lawyer. By doing this, you can learn more about your rights and your legal options throughout the divorce process. To get started, contact our team at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco, PLLC to schedule your initial legal consultation in our office. We can answer all your questions and clear up any misconceptions you have about spousal support, spousal maintenance, or other divorce topics.