If you’re going through a divorce in Louisiana, the last thing you want to think about is how you’re going to support yourself. Unfortunately, many divorcees find themselves in a very different financial situation after their marriage has ended.
You might be transitioning from a two-income household to a one-income household, or you might find yourself without any income at all. Whatever your circumstances, spousal support, otherwise known as alimony, is an important resource that may be available to you.
At Stanley-Wallace Law, we have experience helping people stabilize their financial situation after a divorce by successfully obtaining spousal support. In Part 1 of our series on this topic, we’ll be discussing interim (or temporary) spousal support.
Interim vs. final support
There are two types of spousal support that you can seek in Louisiana:
- Interim spousal support
- Final periodic spousal support
We’ll talk about final awards in Part 2 of our series, but for now we’ll focus on interim support.
While you’re negotiating or litigating your divorce, you may find yourself in need of financial support, but awaiting a final decision from the court on how much your spouse should pay. That’s where interim support comes in.
Under Louisiana law, interim spousal support will end 180 days after the divorce is finalized (LA Civ Code 113 (2018)). You may be able to get your interim payments extended beyond 180 days, but only if you can prove to the court that you really need it.
Factors that go into determining interim support
According to LA Civ Code 113 (2018), the court will make a decision regarding interim spousal support based on four factors:
- The needs of the person seeking support
- The ability of the other spouse to pay
- Any interim or final child support obligation
- The standard of living of both spouses during the marriage
This means that if you can show that you need financial support to maintain your standard of living, and your higher-earning spouse can afford it, the court will usually order some spousal support for you while your divorce is being finalized.
There are a number of other factors that go into determining a final award for spousal support. Typically, the judge or hearing officer will review your and your spouse’s income and expenses to determine if there is a need and if the other party has the ability to pay.
You can read more about final support in Part 2 of our series on final spousal support next month.
How to obtain interim spousal support in Louisiana
In order to prove to a judge that you need interim spousal support while your divorce is being finalized, you will need to present evidence of the four factors discussed above. Here are some documents you will need to prepare:
- Your monthly income, both before and after separation
- Your monthly expenses, both before and after separation
- Your ex-spouse’s income
- Interim or final child support awards
Finally, you will need an divorce attorney to help you prepare this evidence and present it to the court in a compelling way. A divorce attorney who has experience with spousal support will be especially helpful.
Contact Stanley-Wallace Law today
At Stanley-Wallace Law, it’s our goal to make sure your life stays on track during and after your divorce. And if that means that you need financial spousal support payments in the interim while your divorce is being finalized, we will draw from our experience to make sure you are getting paid what you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and talk about your case.