Can I Get Alimony While The Divorce Is Pending?
Going through a divorce can be an unsettling time full of uncertainty and high emotions. Aside from trying to figure out all of the logistics pertaining to you and your family, such as division of property, primary custody of children (if children are present), living arrangements, and other adjustments, the transition unto the next stage can be even more overwhelming without financial support.
Often, when divorce is discussed, the topic of child support is always an accompanying concern that is readily addressed, and for good reason. However, spouses should be aware that they could also receive spousal support or alimony not only after a divorce is finalized, but while their divorce is pending as well. This is known as pendente lite support, which means while the case is pending. It is a temporary form of alimony meant to financially aid a spouse that needs the support. With the legal assistance of an experienced divorce law attorney in Lake Bluff, IL, it is possible to obtain alimony while a divorce is pending.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is also known by other interchangeable terms such as spousal support and spousal maintenance. These terms all refer to the same type of support that a lower-earning spouse may be entitled to receive from the higher-earning spouse. Alimony is a financial obligation given as payments to the spouse who is not able to support themselves during or after a divorce. It is meant to keep the spouses at an equal or close to a comparable financial situation that was maintained during their marriage. Alimony can be temporary, short-term, long-term, or indefinite. Every case is unique, and depending on the specific circumstance, the type of alimony that is awarded is determined by a judge.
Temporary alimony is meant to help the lower-earning spouse pay for bills, groceries, rent, mortgage, and other necessities while his or her divorce is pending. Usually, temporary alimony ends once the divorce is finalized by a judge. However, a new court order for a continuance of spousal support with new terms can be requested before the divorce is finalized. The judge presiding over the divorce case will evaluate whether spousal support or alimony should continue or be awarded after a divorce.
If the judge determines that alimony should be awarded for either a short or long-term period, the higher-earning spouse is obligated to fulfill the court order. The receiving spouse can use the financial assistance to further job skills and education, seek employment, and pay for living expenses. The benefit of receiving financial assistance allows the supported spouse to work towards becoming financially independent after the divorce. The main goal of spousal support is to help the supported spouse get back on their feet and become employed and self-supporting. Of course, this also depends on the age, skills, and life experience of the supported spouse.
An older spouse may not be able to easily find employment or become self-supporting if he or she does not have the skills required to attain employment. If this is the case, a judge may grant permanent alimony. Permanent alimony may be awarded to a spouse due to an illness, age, or other factors that demonstrate a need for ongoing spousal maintenance.
For more detailed information and specifics on alimony, it is advised to consult with a divorce law attorney in Lake Bluff, IL.
Who Qualifies For Alimony And Temporary Alimony?
Not everyone who requests alimony gets awarded spousal support. There are many factors that go into determining whether a person receives spousal support. Usually, there has to be a disparity in income between the spouses. If one spouse makes a lot more money than the other spouse, then it could help the argument of a spousal support request. However, just because one spouse makes a lot more money than the other spouse, it does not automatically warrant alimony. The underlying factor of whether a person receives alimony lies with the ability and need of the petitioning spouse. For instance, if both spouses work and make enough money to support themselves without the assistance of the other (one makes $75,000/year while the other makes $100,000/year), even though one of the spouses makes more money, the court will not award alimony because there is no qualifying need for the lower-earning spouse.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, if one spouse is a stay at home parent or has a job that pays around $35,000/year while the other spouse earns $125,000/year, the court will most likely be inclined to award a form of alimony.
Alimony is awarded on a case by case scenario. Many other factors apply and need to be sorted before a judge asserts an award for spousal support. No two divorces are alike, and it is highly recommended to talk to a divorce law attorney in Lake Bluff, IL, to determine the best approach when seeking alimony.
Requesting Temporary Alimony
If the lower-earning spouse can prove that he or she is unable or is struggling to pay bills, rent, mortgage, groceries, and other necessities while the divorce is pending, the court will most likely award temporary alimony. Temporary alimony can be requested throughout the divorce process and before it is finalized.
An individual looking into requesting temporary alimony should enlist the professional legal help of a divorce law attorney in Lake Bluff, IL. Doing so can significantly increase the chance of attaining a temporary spousal support award. With the help of a divorce law attorney in Lake Bluff, IL, the spouse seeking temporary alimony will have to request a hearing with a judge. On the day of the hearing, the judge will determine if temporary alimony will be granted. After considering the facts and assessing that an award should be ordered, the judge will calculate an award amount and issue a court order. The higher-earning spouse is then bound to fulfill his obligation and pay temporary alimony until the divorce is finalized. However, as previously mentioned, the spouse petitioning for temporary alimony can also request spousal support that is applicable after a finalized divorce.
The divorce process can be challenging and extremely complicated. It is wise to counsel with a knowledgeable divorce law attorney in Lake Bluff, IL, who is well-versed with family law to help guide you and your family throughout the divorce process.