Sometimes, permanent orders of spousal and child support do not arrive in time, causing those slated to receive an order of support to often suffer from a lack of resources. To combat this, Michigan has created temporary support orders.
Generally speaking, temporary support orders are meant to provide financial support for children or spouses, while permanent support orders are being adjudicated. In complex cases, temporary support orders may potentially remain in place for many months or years.
Divorces significantly alter the financial arrangements of spouses and frequently leave one of them in need of financial support. Such circumstances are typically where alimony or spousal support comes in, but some partners have an immediate need for financial support long before their divorce is resolved. As such, temporary support may be appropriate and even life-saving for them.
For example, if a marriage consists of a sole income earner, the non-earning spouse could petition for temporary spousal support once their divorce is filed. The support will consist of payments that last for the duration of the divorce proceedings and cease when the court enters a permanent order of support.
If children are involved in a divorce, the parent who has custody of their child(ren) can ask for temporary child support. For it to be granted, the parent must demonstrate to the court that they need support to meet their child’s needs adequately.
In some cases, the court will issue a temporary child support order ex parte (without notice or a chance to respond given to the other party), but these are used only in emergency circumstances in which the spouse seeking the support can show that irreparable loss or damage will come about without the order in place.
When calculating temporary support, the court will consider various factors relating to the state of the marriage before the divorce. Such factors include the following:
- The behavior of the spouses during their marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Property holdings of the marriage
- The spouses’ current living situations
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
The court will also determine whether the spouse in need has a new partner. If so, the temporary payments may be denied if their new partner already provides resources.
As with temporary spousal support, judges consider various factors when deciding on temporary child support. They won’t conduct a full-blown hearing (though they will for permanent child support orders), but they will look at important factors, such as each parent’s income and the total parenting time each parent puts in.
Family law matters relating to temporary support are somewhat complex, but a family law attorney can help you get clarification on all of the temporary support issues you are facing and guide you through the process.