Can You Get Alimony Before Your California Divorce Is Final?

Spousal support, or alimony, is one of the best-known issues involved in divorce. However, many people don’t realize that it is not restricted to after a divorce is finalized. In certain cases, you may be eligible to receive alimony to cover your expenses while you are still legally married. 

These orders are handled differently from other types of spousal support. Here’s what you need to know about temporary alimony in California and when you could be eligible to receive it.

Types of California Alimony

Two basic types of marital support are recognized in California: temporary and long-term

Most people are familiar with long-term orders. These are the orders issued as part of the divorce decree when a marriage is officially ended. They can also be issued during domestic partnership dissolutions or legal separations. 

Long-term alimony can have a limited duration or be indefinite. Regardless of how long it lasts, it is different from temporary support because it is intended to provide financial assistance after the couple has already divided their assets. 

In contrast, temporary orders are issued before a divorce is final. These funds are intended to help you cover your expenses while other matters are still being decided. Temporary alimony expires when your separation is finalized. They can be replaced with a long-term order, or support may end entirely.

When Are You Eligible for Pre-Divorce Spousal Support?

Temporary support is often crucial in California because of the six-month waiting period for divorces. That’s a long time to wait for court-ordered payments to go into effect and may cause financial hardships. 

That’s why California permits these orders. You can petition for these support orders as soon as you file for a divorce, separation, or dissolution of a domestic partnership. There is no waiting period for these orders, so you could receive payments in just a few weeks rather than half a year. 

You may be eligible to request one of these orders if you are going through a divorce, legal separation, or dissolution of a domestic partnership, your partner earns more than you, and you have financial needs you cannot meet on your own. For example, you may be granted temporary support if you cannot maintain your standard of living without financial assistance. 

Learn More About Temporary Alimony 

Divorce is complex, but it shouldn’t force you into financial hardship. If you can’t maintain your standard of living without assistance from your spouse, you could be eligible to receive temporary alimony until your divorce or separation is final. You can learn more about whether you’re eligible for short-term spousal support by discussing your case with the expert family law attorneys at Viola Law, P.C. Schedule your consultation today to discuss your concerns and how to make your divorce less financially stressful.

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