When you’re dependent on your spouse for financial support, asking for a divorce can be scary. Maybe you no longer feel certain about how your spouse will behave because they clearly aren’t the person you thought you married. Or, maybe you’re absolutely certain that your spouse will do everything in their power to make your life difficult. What if they move out and refuse to pay the household’s bills? What if they won’t give you money for groceries? How will you provide for the children?
This is where temporary relief orders come into play. While a divorce is pending, the court will typically seek to keep everything in a state of “status quo.” That means the judge can issue a ruling that temporarily:
- Gives you the use and possession of the marital home
- Gives you access to the marital bank accounts and other assets so that you can use the funds for specific purposes, like paying for medical care or other bills
- Requires your spouse to continue paying the mortgage, utilities and other ordinary expenses
- Require your spouse to pay for your attorneys’ fees and court costs
- Require your spouse to pay a specific amount of child support
- Awards you a specific spousal support (alimony) payment
In addition, the court can also order your spouse not to dissipate any marital assets unnecessarily through lavish spending, gifts or other forms of waste.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to survive or take care of your children once you ask for a divorce, talk to an experienced advocate about your concerns. That’s the best way to learn about your specific options.