My husband threw me out after he filed for a divorce, and he makes all of the money, what can I do?
It is absolutely not ok for this to happen. You have a legal right to be financially supported at least through the pending divorce.
So I can get some financial help from my husband right now?
Yes. These are called temporary orders. Temporary orders will put into place a temporary financial plan to support you until the court orders a final order or you and your spouse reach an agreement.
How Do I Get Temporary Orders?
You will need to file what is called a “Motion for Temporary Orders.” This document contains your request for temporary spousal maintenance (formerly alimony) from your spouse during the duration of your pending divorce.
What needs to be in the Motion for Temporary Orders?
Within this document you need to state that you are requesting temporary spousal maintenance and the amount of maintenance you need. You also need to explain why you need it right now. Some examples of this may include, you are unemployed, you do not make enough to support your reasonable needs, your spouse is withholding all of the community assets, etc.
Where can I find a Motion for Temporary Orders to fill out?
You can find one at the courthouse from the Clerk, through the self help service on the Maricopa County website, or speak with an attorney to have one drafted for you.
After I complete the Motion, what do I do with it?
Make sure you have signed the original, along with two copies. Take the documents down to the courthouse and to the Clerk’s counter. There, the Clerk will file the original, and provide you with two stamped copies. Make sure you send one of the stamped copies to your spouse. It does not need to be served.
Then do I automatically get the temporary spousal maintenance?
No. The court will go through a specific process before you are awarded any spousal maintenance. First, the judge may set up an informal hearing called a Resolution Management Conference. This would allow the judge to see what your position is and what needs to be done moving forward. The other option is that a Return Hearing may be set. This is usually a hearing to set a date for an actual temporary orders hearing where you’ll be able to testify and present evidence on the issue of spousal maintenance. The judge may just schedule a temporary orders hearing without the informal hearings prior.
Do I need to do anything before the Temporary Orders Hearing?
Yes. You will likely receive a document from the court called a “Minute Entry.” In this document it will give you deadlines, as well as a list of what needs to be submitted to the court and your spouse or spouse’s attorney before the hearing.
What things might I need to submit?
There are a number of things you must disclose to your spouse and submit to the court. You will need to complete an Affidavit of Financial Information. This document requires you to fill out what your income is and monthly expenses, including debts. You also will have to submit your tax returns and W2s for the past two years, along with your two most recent pay stubs. You will need to exchange this information with your spouse. He or she will be required to provide it to you as well.
What else would there be?
It depends on your case. You might have to disclose text messages or emails between you and spouse. You might also have bank statements or other financials you would need to disclose and use as evidence.
Am I guaranteed spousal maintenance?
No. There are a group of factors that the court will look at to determine if you are first eligible, and second what the amount should be. You will have to provide sufficient evidence to the judge that you meet those factors. It is then in the judge’s discretion as to whether you will be awarded spousal maintenance and what the amount will be.