Temporary Orders For Support In Divorce Cases

By: David M. Siegel

A petition for dissolution has been filed with the clerk of the circuit court. A summons has issued against the spouse and it has in fact, been properly served. From that point, the respondent has thirty days to file an appearance in the case; otherwise, a default can be entered. Additionally, the respondent needs to file an answer to the petition on file. The respondent may also wish to file a counter-petition to the one filed by the petitioner.

Some time shortly thereafter, one or each of the parties is likely to file a motion for temporary relief. This can include a motion for temporary child support, temporary maintenance or temporary visitation. It can also be a temporary motion regarding interim attorney's fees. No matter what the motion, the process will follow this typical scenario:

Petition for temporary relief is filed;

The non-petitioning party will ask for time to respond;

The court will set a hearing date and time.

In most cases, the matter will settle, prior to hearing, with the parties drafting some form of agreed order.

If not, the matter will go to a full hearing and the court will render a decision. Since the relief is temporary in nature, it is subject to change upon further motion and subsequent court order.

In a case with minor children involved, the most common temporary relief motion is one for temporary child support. Once the parties have separated, the physical, custodial parent will want a court order to insure that child support is paid. Without a court order, there is no requirement to pay child support. When left up to the parties, there exists too much room for controversy. A court order will eliminate any doubt and will require the non-physical custodial parent to provide for the support of the minor child or children.

Another common temporary relief motion is that of temporary spousal support, known as maintenance. It often takes two incomes to survive. When one party vacates the marital residence, that party often will stop contributing to the support of the other. With a proper court order, a party can be assured of spousal support while the case is pending. Once again, the order is temporary in nature. It is subject to change upon further motion or court order. The amount of said support will vary depending upon several circumstances which include: income of the parties, length of the marriage, lifestyle that the parties have become accustomed as well as several other factors.

Divorce and Infidelity
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