It’s easy to be confused about the divorce process. Important issues must be dealt with but it’s not always clear what the rules are. Spousal support is one of the areas that can be complicated and you may not be at all familiar with the concept of temporary maintenance.
What is temporary maintenance?
Most people understand the basic idea behind spousal maintenance, more commonly known as alimony. When a couple divorces, and the divorce will result in financial hardship for one spouse, the other spouse can be ordered to pay money to them to make up the shortfall. The amount and duration of that support depend on the specific circumstances of the couple and their marriage.
What you may never have considered is that the need for financial support may begin immediately, as soon as the decision to divorce has been made. Divorce can take a long time, sometimes years in complicated cases. How will the financially dependent spouse live from the time divorce is filed and when it’s made final? This is when temporary maintenance comes in—it is spousal support ordered while the divorce process itself is still ongoing.
How is it ordered?
The court does not automatically grant temporary maintenance. Instead, it must be requested by the spouse in need. Both spouses must disclose all of their financial information to the court. The court will then hold a hearing on the issue, considering the respective positions of both parties, to determine if the requesting spouse is in need of the support and if the other spouse is capable of providing it.
Just like with permanent spousal support, the amount and duration of temporary maintenance depend on the circumstances. It will not, however, last beyond the final divorce decree. If support is required beyond that point, temporary maintenance will be stopped and replaced with a permanent support order.