Lara Bracamonte Davila

Doing What Is Right For You

Alimony doesn’t have to wait until after the divorce is final

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Family Law

You’ll have a lot to deal with when you go through a divorce. The issues which come up will vary from one marriage to another, but those issues can impact you both emotionally and financially. And in some cases, the financial issues will appear as soon as the decision to divorce is made.

Alimony can begin immediately

When most people think of alimony, they think of the spousal maintenance one spouse must pay to the other spouse once their divorce is finalized. This makes sense, as it’s the most common form of maintenance a court will order. What you may not realize is that maintenance also has its place the moment divorce is filed.

Sometimes known as temporary support or alimony pendente lite, spousal maintenance can also be justified while the divorce proceeding is ongoing, rather than waiting until it’s completed.

Imagine a situation where one spouse is the primary breadwinner of the family and the other spouse works very little, if at all, outside the home. Instead, that spouse remains home and cares for the family. If the couple decides to divorce and the breadwinning spouse moves out of the house, how will the other spouse continue to provide for things like the mortgage or care of the children?

This is where pre-divorce maintenance can become important. It must be requested by the spouse in need – it will not be ordered automatically by the court. But if the circumstances warrant it, spousal maintenance can be granted so that the lower-earning spouse has the ability to make ends meet in the short term. This can include the ability to pay for the costs of the divorce, since the couple’s disparate finances may leave the lower-earning spouse at a disadvantage in a contested divorce.