If you are preparing to go through a divorce and you are financially dependent on your spouse, one of the earliest steps in the process will likely be to seek “temporary” maintenance and child support. Typically, these forms of temporary financial support will last for the duration of the divorce process; although, in some cases, a judge may order temporary maintenance for a shorter period of time.

Just like the final terms of a divorce, there are two primary ways to establish temporary financial support obligations during the divorce process: (i) the spouses can agree to the amount and duration of payments (subject to certain minimum requirements for temporary child support); or, (ii) one spouse can seek temporary financial support in court.

Temporary Maintenance in a Texas Divorce

In Texas, the courts will award temporary maintenance (also referred to as “alimony” or “spousal support”) when one spouse is dependent on the other to meet his or her financial needs or to maintain the standard of living enjoyed while the spouses were living together. In most cases, an award of temporary maintenance will provide that either:

  • Your spouse will pay certain bills,
  • Your spouse will provide you with a specific amount of financial support, or
  • You and your spouse will allocate your financial responsibilities in a certain way.

Similar to post-divorce maintenance, while there are no set guidelines for calculating temporary maintenance, there are a variety of factors that must be considered when crafting an appropriate temporary support award. These factors include:

  • Each spouse’s ability to financially support himself or herself,
  • Each spouse’s education, work experience and job skills,
  • Each spouse’s ability to earn a living while their divorce is pending, and
  • The standard of living established during the marriage.

Temporary maintenance lasting less than the full duration of the divorce proceedings is most common when the spouse seeking support is capable of becoming self-supporting through employment. For example, if the spouse seeking support has a professional degree and has only recently left the job market, it may be reasonable to establish a limited temporary support period of 60 or 90 days. If the spouse seeking temporary maintenance is unlikely to become self-supporting before the divorce process ends, then an award lasting the full duration of the divorce will be more appropriate.

Temporary Child Support in a Texas Divorce

Child support is treated differently than maintenance. Under Texas law, both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children. There are specific calculations used for determining parents’ child support obligations, and these calculations must be used regardless of whether you and your spouse agree to temporary child support payments or you file for a temporary child support order in court.

Schedule a Free Divorce Consultation at Nordhaus Walpole PLLC

Nordhaus Walpole PLLC is a McKinney, TX law firm that provides experienced, thoughtful and detail-oriented legal representation for divorcing spouses. If you have questions about temporary maintenance or child support, you can call (214) 726-1450 or request a free consultation online to speak with one of our family lawyers in confidence.