Temporary Support Can Help While a Case is Going On
Although we would like for the divorce process to go by quicker, and for parties to resolve their disputes as amicably as possible, the reality is that just is not always the case. The most contested divorces can drag on in courts for over a year, depending on the complexity of the issues that are in dispute.
At the end, you may be entitled to alimony, or child support, or other types of monetary relief. But what happens while the case is going on? If you are a spouse that is making very little money, how are you supposed to pay for the children’s needs, keep a roof over your heads, or even pay attorneys to litigate a contested divorce case?
Obtaining Temporary Support
The answer is asking the court for temporary support or relief. This is a request for support from the other spouse while the case is going on. A temporary order that gives support to a spouse does not mean that the spouse will be awarded support permanently at the end of the case. Temporary support is only meant to make sure that the parties can litigate on an even playing field, and to make sure that the basic needs of the less financially able spouse (and the kids) are taken care of while the case is going on.
Motions for temporary relief usually happen at the beginning of the case, as the party in need is often desperate to pay the household bills. However, the result of this expediency is that often all of the facts and evidence are not developed at the time that the hearing is held. This makes the gathering of a party’s own evidence at the start of the case even more critical.
How Support is Determined
The court will usually hold a hearing to determine temporary support and will take into account some of the same factors that are considered in final alimony or child support determinations. Some factors may include the parties’ standard of living, the ability of a spouse to pay, the earning capacity of the parties, and the location of the children.
A party may also obtain temporary attorney’s fees that must be paid from the other side. In addition to considering the same factors as are used in alimony cases, the Court may also consider whether one party is dragging out litigation, or arguing matters that are frivolous, thus increasing the cost to the other party.
A court will not award temporary attorneys fees if the paying spouse cannot afford his or her own attorneys fees. There must be a demonstrated ability to pay both sides attorneys fees for an award to be made.
Temporary relief is not just monetary; the court can also determine temporary custody and visitation, although it will do so along with a temporary order of child support.
Our Tampa child custody attorneys at the Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group understand the need to take care of your family’s needs while your divorce is being heard by the Court. Call us with any questions you may have.