If the parties remain separated but no legal proceeding is initiated, then each party has the duty to support the other and remains liable to third party creditors for any monies extended. However, once a petition for dissolution is filed, the court then has jurisdiction to make interim orders, such as temporary spousal support, if appropriate.
This is called "postseparation support" which allows the lower income earner to request support pending the divorce, and they must prove they are unable to support themselves. The factors the court will consider are:
- the financial needs of both parties
- the parties’ accustomed standard of living (ie established during marriage)
- the present employment income and other income of each party from any source
- the parties’ income-earning abilities (so for example if one party is un/under employed that can be taken into account)
- the separate and marital debt service obligations of each party
- those expenses reasonably necessary to support each of the parties
- and each party’s respective legal obligations to support any other persons (ie minor children)
This is governed by code § 50-16.2: located here:
Of course, one can suggest mediation to see if they can work things out, or one can file and then the parties can have the case dismissed should they reconcile in the future.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.