When to file for Alimony/Child Support

Can a request for alimony and child support be filed through court at the same time as divorce? We have been separated for six months, and will probably be separated for another year until the divorce is final. Is there a specific time to make those requests through court? Do I lose any rights to financial support depending on the time of filing? We have not signed a separation agreement at this time. Please advise.

You can file for child support at any time, even after the absolute divorce is granted. You should however, file at the time you need child support if the other parent is not voluntarily negotiating with you outside of court or if you and the other parent have reached an impasse on an out-of-court settlement.

You can only file for alimony (and postseparation support) after a separation occurs but before the absolute divorce is granted. You cannot file for alimony after absolute divorce is granted. Again, you should file as soon as the need arises if your spouse is failing to voluntarily negotiate with you or if you have reached an impasse on a settlement.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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