Temporary support orders

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A divorce can take a long time to finalize, depending upon how well spouses work together to reach an agreement. Sometimes one spouse will find that he or she needs to file a temporary support order before a permanent system of alimony or spousal support is established by the court. For example, if one spouse works and the other doesn't, the unemployed spouse can go to court to request a temporary spousal support order from a judge, even though a formal divorce action has not yet been filed. A hearing concerning the temporary order can often be scheduled within days or weeks. The spouse must first request the court order that he or she wants by filling out a form called the 'order to show cause.' This orders his or her spouse to come to court at a specific date and time if the spouse wishes to contest the order. Next, the spouse requesting the order must make a written statement stating facts that justify the order. If the judge approves the temporary support order, he or she will provide the spouse requesting the order with a copy, as well as a 'proof of service' which proves that the papers have been properly delivered to his or her spouse.

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