When an individual files for a divorce in California, he or she may request temporary spousal support to help get through what is typically a stressful and life-altering event. Once the divorce becomes final, however, temporary support ceases and permanent alimony begins, as ordered by the court.

A decision to separate may require a degree of financial support, especially if the majority of a household’s income came from one working spouse. How much an individual could request depends upon his or her income, living expenses and required cost of taking care of any children.

It is generally at the discretion of a family court judge to approve a request for temporary support and determine exactly how much to award. The judge may consider factors such as an individual’s ability to earn income, age or health issues. The length of a couple’s marriage may also play a role in a judge’s decision.

Counteracting a spouse’s request

In one high-profile actor’s divorce case, his spouse’s request for temporary support unleashed a counter-proposal. As reported by People magazine, the soon-to-be-ex-husband agreed to provide temporary support, but only as long as his wife agreed to find a job and become self-sufficient.

Some individuals may require training or a greater degree of experience before they can secure a job that provides a sufficient amount of income. The time and resources necessary to gain new skills may require financial support from an ex-spouse.

Planning a budget on a single income

Separating or moving out and adjusting to a single-family income may require a commitment to making some lifestyle changes. An individual’s personal circumstances may influence a family court judge’s decision to approve or deny a request for temporary spousal support.

A judge may deny a support request when a prenuptial agreement specifies that a spouse may only receive a particular amount upon a separation. A prenuptial agreement may also stipulate that a soon-to-be-ex-spouse pays for the legal fees required for the divorce.