Temporary spousal support is different than post-divorce spousal support.

In Texas, temporary spousal support to be paid while a divorce is pending is based on the concept that each spouse has a legal duty to support the other spouse. So, until the divorce is final, the legal duty of support comes into play. Judges often base their decisions on issues of temporary support on a theory of preserving the status quo until the divorce can be finalized. So, if there is a history of the husband providing the income to pay the marital obligations, then that may likely continue. If there has been a pattern where both spouses make income that is used to pay the marital bills, then a Judge will consider making that part of the temporary orders. The main concern in reaching a temporary order is to make sure that both spouses have sufficient means with which to meet their reasonable and necessary obligations. A judge will allocate the income coming in to the marriage to accomplish this goal. This may be accomplished with an order for one spouse to pay the bills of the other spouse, for one spouse to provide a monthly stipend of spousal support to the other spouse, or with an order for each person to use their monthly income to pay certain obligations assigned to them.

Temporary orders usually last in duration for the entire pendency of the divorce. However, it is becoming increasingly popular for judges to limit a temporary spousal support award to a short period – say, 90 days – providing a sufficient time for the spouse needing support to obtain employment and resolve the divorce.

There are no statutory guidelines for temporary spousal support orders as there are with orders for post-divorce spousal maintenance.

It is important to note that temporary spousal support also differs from the legally required temporary child support.

Read more posts about temporary orders:Temporary Orders Hearing: Step 2 of the Divorce Proceeding

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.