Temporary Order of Child Support

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What is a Temporary Order of Child Support?

A temporary order of child support may be issued in a divorce proceeding.  This usually happens if the parents can’t agree on the amount of child support.  The order will be effective until the court decides upon a permanent child support order in the final divorce decree. 

The main reasoning behind temporary child support orders is that child care cannot be paused because a divorce proceeding is underway.  Thus, it may become necessary for the court to intervene so that the child’s interests continue to be met during proceedings.

Temporary orders for child support are classified in the broader category of “pendente lite” orders.  These are court orders that are temporarily enforced until the end of trial or court proceedings.  Temporary orders in divorce are common; these can include temporary alimony and temporary custody orders.    

How are Temporary Child Support Orders Calculated?  What do they Cover?

Calculations for an order of temporary child support can involve a number of factors.  The most important of these is the child’s best interest- that is, calculation should always serve to benefit the child, rather than a particular parent.  When determining temporary child support, a court may consider:

Since these orders are temporary, expenses tend to cover the child’s immediate needs rather than luxury or entertainment items.  These may include such items as food, clothing, housing, medical expenses, and educational costs.  Other expenses will likely be calculated when the final child support order is issued. 

How Does a Temporary Order of Child Support impact the Overall Divorce Judgment?

Temporary child support awards can impact the overall divorce decree in many ways.  Some advantages of temporary child support orders include:

On the other hand, the amount reflected in a temporary order may reappear in the permanent child support award when the divorce becomes final.  This might not be an accurate figure, as situations may have changed for each parent during the divorce process.  Also, the child’s needs may have changed during the process. 

So, it is important that each parent inform the court if any recalculations or modifications need to be made to the support order.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Temporary Order of Child Support?

Temporary child support orders are important both for the children and the parents.  Although they last only for a temporary time period, calculating the award can be complicated.  It may be necessary to present your case to a local family lawyer for immediate assistance with your legal needs. 

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Last Modified: 01-12-2012 11:59 AM PST

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