Most American households are dual income, meaning both spouses work to cover household expenses. If the spouses decide to separate or divorce and one party moves out, it can present a real financial problem. Where there was once two incomes maintaining one household, there is now one. In some cases, your family income may even need to maintain two households. This means that rent, utilities and other household costs will have to be paid for by the spouse who makes money.
In many cases, one spouse, regardless of whether they are working or not, will need spousal support after the physical separation in or to meet these costs. Temporary spousal support can be awarded to this spouse, to help them meet their living expenses until the divorce finalizes. Most California divorces take a minimum of six months to a year to finalize, making temporary spousal support very important.
How Do I Get Temporary Spousal Support?
The first step in getting temporary spousal support is filing a petition and summons and serving your spouse with them. If you have already filed and served these documents, you can file a motion for an Order to Show Cause. This filing allows the court to set a hearing for you to present your request for spousal support in a proposed order for temporary spousal support.
At the hearing, the judge assigned to your case will determine how much money you are entitled to. Once the judge signs the order for temporary spousal support, it will be enforceable and you can begin the collection of payments.
In the event that you have moved out of the family home or your spouse has been ordered to move out due to domestic violence issues, you may be able to request temporary support in conjunction with the domestic violence restraining order that will be put in place.
Calculating Temporary Spousal Support
The court will calculate temporary spousal support based on your financial need. However, spousal support payments generally do not exceed 40% of the supporting spouse’s income, minus 50% of the supported spouse’s income, if any. This means, if your spouse makes $100,000 per year, you will be entitled to generally no more than $40,000 in temporary spousal support. If you make, for instance $30,000, the court will reduce the $40,000 by half of your income of $15,000 and you will be entitled to $25,000 in temporary spousal support.
You should also note that temporary spousal support expires once your divorce is finalized, at which point long-term spousal support orders will take over.
Call a Central Valley Spousal Support Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or planning to file for divorce, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 689-2207 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.