Getting Temporary Support before Your Divorce is Final

Getting Child Support while Your Divorce is Pending

Father with SonDivorce proceedings, like any other type of legal action, can take months or years to make it through the process. If you are a custodial parent, you can’t wait that long for a judge to order your ex to pay child support. Fortunately, in Texas, as in other states, you can petition the court for an order of temporary support while custody, visitation and other issues are settled.

The court will not automatically impose a child support obligation on a non-custodial parent, though. To obtain child support while your divorce is pending, you must file a motion “pendent lite” with the court, a request that the court determine the amount of and mandate the payment of child support while your divorce is pending. This request is typically included with your complaint for divorce, but need not be. You can petition the court for temporary child support any time after you have filed for divorce.

In making the determination of whether to order child support and how much to order, the court will look at a number of issues, including:

  • Where the children will reside—Generally, only custodial parents are entitled to child support. As a part of your divorce complaint, you typically ask for custody. When the court grants custody, it also addresses the need for support.
  • The respective incomes of the parties—In Texas, as in other states, support is calculated using a formula based on the income of both parents. You can also advise the court if there are special needs, such as health care or special education, that require an increase in the amount of support.

Once your request for support has been filed, a copy must be served upon your ex-spouse. The court will then schedule a hearing, where both parties may be called upon to testify. The court has the discretion to order child support retroactive to the date of separation.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates

At the Law Office of Len Conner Associates, we offer a free initial consultation in all family law matters, including issues relating to divorce. Send us an e-mail or call our office at (972) 445-1500 or 972-445-1500 if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or call us toll free at (877) 613-5800 for an appointment.

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