What you should know about temporary support

If you are getting divorced, your status and circumstances won’t just change overnight. There can be a significant chunk of time between the time divorce papers are filed and the day your divorce is finalized. This period of time can be quite lengthy in high-asset or high-profile divorces because there is often a considerable amount of complex details to resolve.

During this transitional time, your life is not on hold. You will need to continue doing things like working, taking care of your kids and paying your bills. For these reasons, Massachusetts courts can order one spouse to make temporary alimony payments.

As the name implies, these orders are meant to help people for a short, specific period of time. Ultimately, they will end, be modified or be reclassified as general term alimony.

Whether you collect temporary support or not depends on many factors that will be specific to your situation. Do you have kids? Are you receiving temporary child support? What are your financial needs and capabilities? What lifestyle were you living when you were married?

While temporary alimony is not uncommon, it is not ordered in every situation. In some cases, a person may actually decline the support. For instance, in the tumultuous divorce between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, it was reported that Heard would not be seeking or collecting temporary alimony. In this case, the decision is based on Heard’s intent to keep the focus on her domestic assault allegations against Depp without assumptions of greed clouding the case.

However, your own situation is likely going to be far less dramatic and sensational, unless you and your ex are also high-profile celebrities. That being said, your needs and rights during a divorce are just as important as anyone else’s. Protecting them with the help of an attorney can be critical in allowing you to pursue the fair and agreeable settlement you deserve.


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