A person considering divorce may worry that the other spouse will move money out of the joint bank account into a separate account, cancel credit cards or otherwise make it impossible for the person to continue to live while the divorce is pending. You may expect to receive spousal support (alimony) and child support after the divorce but worry about what you will live on until then. This needn’t be a concern that should keep you from filing for a necessary divorce. You can obtain temporary orders for support while the divorce is pending.

Section 403.160 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes allows a court to make temporary orders for child support and spousal maintenance when the petition for a dissolution of marriage is filed. The intent of these orders is to maintain the status quo that existed during the marriage, so a non-working spouse can continue to live and care for the children at roughly the same standard of living. These temporary orders can stay in place throughout the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Temporary orders terminate with the entry of a dissolution decree, at which time any final orders for maintenance or child support will kick in.

Note that there is no requirement that temporary maintenance must be paid out of the paying spouse’s non-marital or separate property. Temporary maintenance can be paid from marital (joint) property while the divorce is pending. The Kentucky Supreme Court made this clear in the case of Horvath v. Horvath in 2008.

The court can make other temporary orders as well, including orders for child custody and visitation, and injunctions or restraining orders where appropriate. Orders can also be made regarding the marital property to keep one spouse from spending, moving or hiding assets and taking advantage of the other spouse in the property settlement.

Temporary orders are not automatic

In Kentucky, temporary orders are not made automatically when a divorce petition is filed; you must ask for the orders you want. To get temporary maintenance, you must make a motion to the judge asking for the order, and your order must be supported with facts justifying the award in the amount you request. For a temporary order of child support, you must submit information needed to calculate child support according to the Kentucky guidelines. The other spouse can challenge the order, requiring the court to hold a hearing on the motion. Whether seeking to establish or challenge temporary orders, it can be extremely beneficial to have the advice and representation of an experienced divorce attorney on your side. In Florence and Northern Kentucky, contact Greta Hoffman & Associates for assistance.

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