A lot of contentious issues can arise during a divorce, such as child custody and property division. The issue of alimony can also be a difficult problem to deal with, so it’s important to understand that not all spousal support is created equally.
During the divorce versus after the divorce
When people think of spousal support, they tend to think of payments made by one spouse, to the other, after the divorce has been finalized. And there’s no question that this is the most common form spousal support takes, but it’s not the only one.
Temporary spousal support differs from the more permanent maintenance courts order as part of a final divorce decree. While post-divorce alimony payments are concerned with addressing a long-term financial disparity between the spouses, temporary spousal support addresses a disparity that may exist while the divorce itself is taking place.
Consider a situation where one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other spouse – perhaps one of them stays home either primarily or completely and cares for the couple’s children. When they decide to divorce, the earning spouse leaves the residence while the divorce is proceeding. Without that income, the remaining spouse may have no way to pay the mortgage or properly provide for the children.
Temporary spousal support may be requested by either spouse at the time the divorce is filed. If granted, its purpose is to maintain the status quo of the marriage until the divorce is final – so that both spouses may approach the divorce from a level playing field, rather than one spouse proceeding at a significant financial disadvantage.
Temporary spousal support is not something the court will address on its own – it must be asked for. If you think it’s an issue relevant to your own divorce, speak to a professional who is well-versed in Texas divorce law. They can help you navigate the request to ensure it’s handled properly.