Temporary Child Support in Divorce Cases


Apart from the emotional issues, financial issues arise that require due consideration when dealing with a pending divorce. During marriage, when things are going well, a couple more often than not is able to reach a workable agreement concerning the financial support of their minor child. Couples typically are able to plan and agree on how expenditures for their child will be dealt with.

When a couple is faced with a pending divorce, issues of child support often come into play. Often one parent has little or no independent income with which to satisfy support needs, and the other parent simply refuses to continue support on a voluntary basis. A parent is thus confronted with the issue of how to support his/her child pending final judgment in a divorce proceeding.

Fortunately, for those faced with this scenario, provisions in the Family Code exist that allow a parent to obtain child support pending a “permanent” child support order upon entry of judgment. Under the provisions, during the pendency of a divorce proceeding, a parent may seek a court order requiring the other parent to pay “any amount necessary” for the support of the child. Such an order is commonly known as a “pendente lite” order. Costs incurred for the maintenance and education of the child may be sought as part of the support requested.

An ancillary question arises as to what is considered “any amount necessary.” To determine what is considered a necessary amount for child support, a statewide uniform guideline exists, from which deviation can be made only in special circumstances. At the core of the uniform guideline is a formula that takes into consideration, among other things, each parent’s net disposable income and a formula “time sharing” adjustment for shared physical responsibility of the children.

The pendente lite order for child support may be made retroactive to the date of the filing of the petition for divorce. The order remains in full effect until modified or revoked by the court, or superseded by a “permanent” child support order upon entry of judgment. The provisions allowing for a pendente lite order provide a parent with an avenue of relief in difficult times.

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes was President of the Philippine American Bar Association for 2005. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive former CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail kureyeslaw@gmail.com; visit at www.kenreyeslaw.com

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