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Temporary Alimony in Divorce


Temporary alimony, or alimony pendente lite, is assigned by the divorce court when parties have entered into a legal separation or the divorce is not yet final. If the divorce court decides to give an alimony award after the divorce, it will be assigned in a different form.

Temporary alimony allows a spouse to maintain and learn to adjust a certain standard of living during the divorce process.

In states that allow temporary alimony, it is to be determined by the divorce court how much to award. If the divorce court chooses to award temporary alimony, there is not a guarantee that permanent alimony will also be awarded.

When the divorce decree is final, temporary alimony ends. If temporary alimony is owed some divorce courts may order those back payments to still be paid but other divorce courts may waive them.

Requesting Temporary Alimony

Typically, a request for temporary alimony is filed in a petition or motion in the court where the divorce proceedings are taking place. When requesting temporary alimony, the spouse must show marital relation to the person he or she is requesting alimony from. The requesting spouse must also show he or she has financial need and the party paying the temporary alimony has the financial ability to pay alimony.

Depending on divorce laws in your state, some have specific statutes regarding temporary alimony. Other states don't have statutes since the state follows the belief that there is a preexisting duty of one spouse to support a dependent spouse.

Determining Temporary Alimony

When making a temporary alimony award, the divorce court will consider the circumstances of the case, including:

  • Reasonable financial need of alimony
  • Financial ability to pay alimony
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability of the requesting spouse to him or herself
  • Age and health of both spouses
  • Other relevant factors

When determining the standard of living and living expenses of each spouse, the divorce court will likely consider the essentials, such as food, clothing, housing, transportation and medical care. The divorce court's considerations are not limited to these areas.

Speak to a Divorce Attorney about Temporary Alimony

A local divorce lawyer can help you file a petition requesting temporary alimony and answer your questions about alimony awards and alimony law in your state. Get in touch with a local divorce attorney to find out what you may expect to pay or receive by calling 877-349-1310 or filling out a divorce case review form. Make sure you are financially stable during the divorce process.

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