How Long Does It Take To Get Spousal Support

If you’re seeking alimony and going through a divorce, one of the most common questions is: How long does it take to get spousal support? Before answering this question, it’s important to understand the main difference between a spousal support judgment and a temporary order. 

Spousal Support vs Temporary Orders

Spouses may request either permanent or temporary alimony (also referred to as spousal support). Sometimes they request both. It’s paid by one of the spouses when the plans for divorce get separated. Note that it’s necessary to file a written order or agreement for spousal support with the court before getting any money. That prevents any dispute over alimony. 

It’s not necessary that a divorce gets completed in order to begin alimony. Temporary spousal support is actually intended to financially support the lower-income spouse while the divorce proceedings are still pending. Once a permanent spousal support gets awarded, this alimony on a temporary basis will end.

spousal support questions

Permanent spousal support is paid after the divorce. The goal for spousal support is to keep the spouse with the lower earnings near or at marital standards of living. 

Every divorce and every couple is unique. What occurs in someone else’s case may not occur in another because in Hawaii, orders for spousal support are very fact specific.

Besides, keep in mind that state laws vary widely so that state courts set alimony according to the specific state guidelines and laws. Yet, there are some general rules in regard to spousal support which apply to most divorcing spouses. 

What Factors Will the Judge Consider Before Awarding Spousal Support? 

Based on several factors, the judge will determine which spouse needs support and how much he or she should be paid. These factors include: 

  1. Financial resources of the parties;
  1. Ability of the party seeking support and maintenance to meet his or her needs independently;
  1. Duration of the marriage;
  1. Standard of living established during the marriage;
  1. Age of the parties;
  1. Physical and emotional condition of the parties;
  1. Usual occupation of the parties during the marriage;
  1. Vocational skills and employability of the party seeking support and maintenance;
  1. Needs of the parties;
  1. Custodial and child support responsibilities;
  1. Ability of the party from whom support and maintenance is sought to meet his or her own needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking support and maintenance;
  1. Other factors which measure the financial condition in which the parties will be left as the result of the action under which the determination of maintenance is made; and
  1. Probable duration of the need of the party seeking support and maintenance.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Temporary Spousal Support? 

As for alimony on a temporary basis, this implies financial support during the divorce process as well as before it’s final. 

Once a spouse file a petition, the divorce proceeding automatically starts and the request for order can be filed. Then the court sets the first hearing date, which can be anywhere between one and four weeks away. That mainly depends on the court’s calendar. 

how long to get spousal support

If there is any spousal support issue, the spouses can settle it prior to the hearing. At the first hearing, the court may make a temporary order for spousal support as long as the facts are meriting one and/or if there is no major factual dispute. If there’s a proper legal ground, this order can be changed whilst the divorce process is pending. 

How Long Does It Take to Receive Permanent Spousal Support? 

A permanent alimony – although it’s seldom permanent indeed – refers to spousal support by judgment. It can occur via either a trial or settlement. A settlement between spouses going through a divorce becomes a ‘stipulated’ judgment. In case the alimony is contested for some reason, the case must go before a judge at a trial (also known as an evidentiary hearing).

Then the judge will determine the duration and amount of alimony that’ll be given after the completion of the divorce. 

how long for spousal support

This raises the question: How long will it take to start receiving spousal support?

This depends on multiple factors like the duration of the spouses’ marriage, the standard of living spouses have enjoyed during their marriage, custody disputes, disputes related to the assets and income of spouses, and so on. 

The duration of a divorce and spousal support primarily depends on the number of disputed issues. Some spousal support and divorce matters can get resolved in less than 6 months if there is no dispute or if there are only a few minor disputes. On the other hand, it can take 12 months or longer if the divorce process is complicated due to complex finances, a factual dispute regarding custody and/or a large number of assets or debts. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Spousal Support Modification? 

It’s important to note that a spousal support order an be modified after the judgment. That can occur if there are significant changes in circumstance that justify a modification. 

Seeking a modification of support is much the same as the process when filing for divorce. The spouse first needs to file a request for a support modification , after which, the court is supposed to set a hearing date. 

How long does it take to obtain a modification of a spousal support order? If the required evidence is close or readily at hand, it won’t take long to get support modification. However, if support modification is contested and there is a dispute, note that the resolution will take some time to reach. 

Whether you are facing temporary or long-term spousal support, it’s essential to have a trustworthy divorce lawyer who will properly streamline your divorce process. No matter if you’re receiving or paying spousal support, feel free to contact the experienced Hawaii attorneys. We will examine your current support order in depth to make sure it’s suitable and fair.

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