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The Difference Between Temporary And Permanent Spousal Support

Spousal support paid prior to the entry of the Judgment is characterized as temporary spousal support or pendent lite spousal support.  Temporary spousal support may be ordered at a Request For Order (RFO) and is designed to maintain the status quo of the parties, where possible. The amount of temporary spousal support is often determined with the utilization of a formula accessed through the use of a computer software program (DissoMaster or X-Spouse).

Infographic about Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary Spousal Support

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Temporary spousal support may be ordered retroactively to the filing date of the Request for Order (RFO) seeking spousal support. Generally, the payor-spouse is credited with payments made to the payee-spouse or paid for that spouse’s benefit.  However, a spousal support order at the trial may not be made retroactive to the date of the Petition unless a spouse had previously requested temporary spousal support (Mendoza v. Cuellar).  A family law court may order temporary spousal support pending the determination of issues involved in an Out-of-State divorce (Gromeeko v. Gromeeko).

What is Permanent Spousal Support?

At the divorce trial, permanent spousal support may be ordered. The term “permanent” is misleading because permanent spousal support may be ordered for a limited period of time. The term permanent is intended to distinguish this spousal support from temporary spousal support. This spousal support is also referred to as post-judgment or long-term spousal support.