How Does Child Support Work When the Divorce Isn’t Final?
You and your soon-to-be ex-husband have been going through a tough time with your divorce. Despite several disagreements on the division of property and assets, the one thing you can agree on is custody. Since your husband travels for work the majority of the year, your children will be living with you and he will pay child support. But with the divorce no nearly close to being finally, your wife is demanding support payments to start immediately. Do you have to pay right now? Or do you have to wait until the divorce is final?
It’s a pretty common question and an important one at that. According to New Jersey law, you and your spouse are required to keep the finances on the same level as they were when you were while you were together until your divorce has been finalized. However, this does not mean your soon-to-be ex is required to pay child support.
The court may issue a “Pendente Lite” order — a temporary order that decides child support or alimony while the divorce is still pending. The Pendente Lite order may state that the custodial parent can get child support within a few weeks after the filing of the divorce. However, you will need to petition the court to ask for a temporary order. Once granted, it can be enforced like any other court order.
Also remember, though this is a temporary order, the court may use a Pendente Lite order in determining the final custody and visitation orders. So when you petition the court, you want to make sure the amount of support is reasonable.
What about custody and vistation before the divorce is final? Yes, a temporary order can be established beforehand to determine custody and visitation time. And just like child support, the court may base the final custody order on the temporary measure.