Divorce can be overwhelming enough, dealing with the end of the marriage and all that entails. But for a spouse who was not the primary wage earner, and may have even been a stay-at-home parent, the added stress of worrying about the financial impact the divorce will have can be devastating.
In these situations, temporary alimony may be available to the spouse who is struggling financially. The court can order the other spouse to give a set amount each month until the divorce is finalized. Whether or not alimony will continue after the divorce is final is something you can discuss with your divorce attorney.
The purpose of temporary alimony is different from the purpose of alimony. In general, alimony can be awarded when the couple was married for many years and one spouse did not work outside of the home. The duration of alimony is usually for years, unless the receiving spouse remarries or whatever other stipulations the parties agree on.
Setting a Payment Amount
Temporary alimony serves a different purpose. The court will award temporary alimony when there is an immediate need for the receiving spouse because, with the couple separated, the spouse has little to no income. The temporary alimony is usually set at an amount that is necessary to support the receiving spouse.
For example, if the paying spouse is the one who moves out of the marital home, the court could issue a temporary order that the paying spouse pay enough alimony that would cover the cost of the mortgage, utility payments, vehicle payments, and any other debts that his or her paycheck had previously covered before the breakup.
In order to receive court-ordered temporary alimony, there must be a pending divorce petition filed with the court. As the divorce process comes to an end, a decision will have to be made by the receiving spouse and their attorney whether or not they will pursue additional alimony payments. Unless the marriage was long-term, it is unlikely a court will order permanent alimony, however, there is the option of rehabilitative alimony. This is when alimony is ordered for a certain period of time to enable the receiving spouse to obtain training, search for a job, or whatever other steps needed to reestablish themselves financially.
Child Support Orders
It is important to note that temporary alimony is completely separate from child support. Once the divorce is final, the court will issue a child support order where one parent will need to pay the other parent child support payments each month. Whether or not the temporary alimony turns into a more permanent alimony payment upon the divorce being finalized, there will still be a child support order issued and the amount that is ordered to be paid for child support is not connected in any way to how much or how long alimony is being paid.