Life does not cease to exist just because two people decide they want to divorce. Bills still need to be paid and children need to have their needs met. Most divorces can take months to be finalized, leaving one parent in immediate need to care for the children as they did before divorce proceedings began.
If this is where you are with your spouse and an agreement on child support terms seems impossible, you may need to get a temporary child support order. Generally, the court will issue a temporary order of child support while terms of the divorce are negotiated.
Whether the amount is more or less in the final order remains to be seen. There are contributing factors that will determine the final amount of child support that is paid to the primary custodial parent.
Temporary Order of Child Support
The primary reason a judge issues a temporary child support order is so that care for the children continues during divorce proceedings. A court will intervene on behalf of the children’s interest when the parents are in disagreement of what should be done to maintain stability in the children’s lives.
Even if you and your spouse can agree on certain terms, the temporary order may still be necessary. The order remains in effect until there is a permanent decision on the child support payments in the final divorce decree.
Calculations for Temporary Child Support
There are a number of factors that contribute to how a temporary child support order is calculated. As previously stated, the court is concerned with doing what is in the interest of the children. Calculations will always be focused on how the amount will benefit the children, not the parent.
When making this determination, the court may consider:
• Income levels and personal assets of both parents
• Number of children
• The children’s ages
• Who has custody
• Expenses for the children
Typically, expenses will cover immediate needs and not entertainment items. In most cases, things considered luxury items may be included in the final order. Instead, the amount of temporary child support payments are based on food, housing, clothing, medical expenses and money for education.
Child support issue are usually controlled by state laws, which varies on actual calculation formulas. However, most states will use guidelines for a final child support award to determine temporary payments.
Temporary Child Support and the Final Divorce Judgment
In many ways, decisions about a temporary child support order can impact the final order once a divorce is final. Furthermore, the advantages of getting a temporary child support order helps with negotiations because the support:
• Ensures children continue to receive support as their parents work through the terms of the divorce
• The noncustodial parent has time to adjust and plan for the future based on award payments
• Both parents may find it easier to accept the future divorce arrangement
• May give the noncustodial parent tax breaks by following the child support order
The court may adjust the amount to be higher or lower once your divorce becomes final. In some cases, the amount for the permanent order might be the same as the temporary order. If this occurs and you are the custodial parent, the figure might not be accurate if your situation – or your ex-spouse’s situation – changes during the divorce process.
Not only this, but your children’s needs may have also changed, i.e. they are older. Therefore, it is essential that you and your spouse let the court know if recalculations or modifications are necessary to ensure the final child support order is an accurate reflection of what your children need.
Temporary and final child support orders are important for your family. This includes the children and your ex. Although the initial order is temporary, calculations can be complicated and may require legal assistance for accuracy.