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What is temporary spousal support?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Family Law |

The process of going through a divorce can be confusing. You’ll have to deal with a number of issues you’ve likely never given much thought. Spousal support is one of those issues and you may understand the basics of how it works, but the idea of temporary spousal support is less well known.

Pendente lite

Temporary spousal support is more technically known as “pendente lite” spousal support, which is Latin for “pending litigation.” It is a form of spousal support ordered after divorce proceedings have begun but before that proceeding is completed. Think of it as the court’s way of preserving the status quo until divorce is finalized. It’s common during a marriage for one spouse to have more income that the other – as soon as they separate, the spouse who is financially less secure can suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage.

Temporary spousal support is not granted automatically. Instead, the spouse who believes they need it must file a request with the court. Once the request is filed, both spouses will be required to file documentation reflecting their current financial status. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether temporary spousal support is appropriate.

How much is temporary spousal support?

Once the court has the information it needs, there is a guideline calculator it can use to determine the amount of temporary spousal support. The court is not required to use the calculator but it can be a convenient way to start. What the court must consider are the needs of the party requesting support and the ability of the other spouse to pay it. Ultimately, any amount the court concludes is necessary will depend upon the specific circumstances of the divorce in question.