In some divorce proceedings, a temporary order of child support may be issued and enforced until a permanent order is issued in the final divorce decree. Temporary orders often come about when parents cannot agree on how much child support is owed. Since the child’s best interests are the court’s priority, a judge may issue this temporary order to ensure the child’s needs are continuing to be met through divorce proceedings.

Temporary orders for child support fall into the category of “pendente lite” orders, and may also include temporary alimony and temporary custody orders. All of these orders are temporarily enforced until the end of court proceedings.

How are Temporary Child Support Orders Calculated? What Do They Cover?

Courts always take the child’s best interest into consideration when calculating temporary child support orders. The child’s interests come before either parents’ interests, and other factors are also taken into consideration, such as:

  • Each parent’s income and assets;
  • The number of children, and their ages;
  • What parent has custody; and
  • Amount of expenses each child requires, including any have special needs.

Temporary orders tend to cover the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, medical bills, and education costs. The final child support order is more likely to contain other expenses, such as those related to entertainment or luxury items.

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

A temporary child support order may have a significant impact on the final divorce decree in several ways. A few advantages may include:

  • The needs of the child are continually met throughout the divorce proceedings
  • More foresight in planning the future based on award payments
  • Gives parents a period of adjustment to the upcoming divorce arrangement
  • Tax breaks could occur if the court order is followed

Sometimes, the amount awarded in a temporary order of child support may be finalized in the divorce decree. If circumstances have changed, or the child’s needs have changed, it is important that each parent informs the court of such changes. For instance, if the parent paying child support received a pay cut, they would need to inform the judge to consider recalculations.

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

A child support attorney can assist you with obtaining a temporary order of child support, as well as help you calculate the amount that would best provide for your child. Child custody and child support cases can be complicated, and speaking with a lawyer is highly recommended.