Going through the divorce process without an attorney on your side is certainly feasible, but it’s not recommended unless you’re going through a quick divorce in which both parties agree to all the conditions and terms and nothing else is going on. When your divorce is more complicated, hiring an attorney to work with you and for you is a good idea. It helps you with the motions, it helps you to prepare yourself for your new life, and having someone on your side is helpful when they know the laws and you don’t. If you’re filing for divorce and you choose not to hire an attorney to work with you, you’re responsible for doing things like filing for temporary support on your own.
Filing for Temporary Support
You have every right to ask that your spouse supports you while you go through the divorce process. The way to ensure this happens is to put the request on the divorce petition when you file. You can ask for a certain amount or for a judge to evaluate your financial situation so your spouse is ordered to pay you support while you go through the process.
This is possible in some situations, and not in others. A judge is not going to grant you temporary support if you are financially supporting yourself and your spouse is not. A judge will issue temporary support to you if you are a stay-at-home parent with kids to care for while you get back on your feet. This might include going back to school to get your degree or joining a trade school so you can get a good job and support yourself. It might be while you go back to some training classes to update a license you once held before you left work to care for your kids.
For example, if you are a teacher who decided to stay home five years ago when your kids were born, you might need to go to some classes and have some new certifications issued to get back into the classroom. Your spouse might be required to support you while you do this. A judge is going to set a time limit on this kind of support by requiring you to have your life in order by a certain date or your spouse is no longer required to support you. You must show good effort you are looking for a job or seeking a degree or trade school certification.
Temporary support is possible to seek if you have a need for it. If you and your spouse are on good terms throughout your divorce, you might find it’s faster and easier to discuss your need for financial support temporarily with this person rather than taking it to a judge. Your spouse might be more willing to do this if you just ask than he or she will be if you go to the judge with the request. Just note that while you can come up with a verbal agreement for temporary financial support, you do plan on going to the judge to make it official.
A judge cannot enforce your spouse to support you if he verbally agreed to you that he would do this. You need the financial documentation handled in court to make it official. It’s possible to do this without an attorney, and you can ask the Clerk of Court’s office which paperwork to file to get started seeking financial support from the man or woman you no longer want to be with.
If you aren’t sure you can handle this situation on your own, call an attorney with experience helping couples end their marriages. You can do it on your own, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend all the time and energy it takes to file motions and paperwork for this when you could work on furthering your career and putting your new life in order.