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Can you get spousal support during your case?

You're getting divorced, and you haven't been in the workforce for years. You were expecting your spouse to take care of you, and perhaps you even quit your job to get married. Now that you're splitting up, you're going to ask for spousal support so that you can keep paying the bills after the divorce.

However, those bills are still coming in during the case. What if it takes months for the court to sort through everything? What if you have to spend that time living in your own apartment, buying your own food, paying the utilities and much more?

Even though support hasn't officially been ordered yet, you still need to be able to make ends meet. This is why you are legally allowed to ask for temporary spousal support for the duration of the case. You'll get an official court order, which is usually called either a "temporary partner support order" or a "temporary spousal support order."

Getting the temporary order does not prevent you from also getting a permanent support order once the case has concluded. This is typically called "permanent spousal or partner support" or "long-term spousal or partner support." Both orders can be given in the same case, allowing you to avoid debt and stay current on all of your bills while the future of your marriage -- and your financial future -- gets sorted out in court.

The financial side of a divorce is incredibly important. You must know what rights you have and what legal steps can be taken to protect your financial interests, to allow you to enjoy your normal standard of living and to avoid debt.

Source: California Courts: The Judicial Branch of California, "Spousal/Partner Support," accessed Dec. 23, 2016

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