Meriwether & Tharp, LLC
6788799000 Meriwether & Tharp, LLC 1545 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 300 Varied
If you have divorce questions

Celebrity Family Law – Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid and his estranged wife, Kimberly, have been going through a divorce since June 2016. Despite the fact that it has been over 7 months since Kimberly filed for divorce, the parties never got a temporary order for alimony or child support. Dennis and Kimberly Quaid: We're Rollin' the Dice in our Divorce, by TMZ Staff,, January 10, 2017. Rather, Dennis has been voluntarily paying the living expenses for Kimberly and their two children since that time. Despite this arrangement, Dennis thinks he's paying too much, while Kimberly thinks he should be paying more. Accordingly, the parties have now gone to court to formalize a temporary support arrangement. In addition to agreeing to abide by the Judge's decision, the parties have agreed to pay each other back if it is determined that their arrangement is either more or less than it should have been. For example, if a Judge determines that Dennis should have been paying more in support, he will need to pay Kimberly retroactively for the difference. Conversely, if a Judge finds that Dennis has overpaid, Kimberly will have to retroactively reimburse him. Either way this happens, one party is not going to be happy, and it could put a sour taste in their mouth for the rest of the divorce negotiations.

A temporary order establishes the parties' respective obligations during the pendency of the divorce action - and this case shows the importance of getting a temporary order in place shortly after the divorce is filed to establish each party's short term obligations. A temporary order helps the parties know what to expect financially in the short term and can help them prepare for a more permanent life apart. In determining a temporary support obligation, a Judge will look at each party's income and expenses, as well as any expenses for the children (if any), and base the order on what is needed in the short term. There will certainly be temporary child support included in the temporary order and, if one party was the family's sole/primary wage earner, there will likely be some temporary alimony as well. If the Quaids had sought a temporary order up front, they would not be in a situation where one would have to repay the other, because their legal obligations would have been set long ago.

It should be noted that support obligations in a temporary order do not necessarily dictate what a final support order will look like. A final order will take into consideration custody, visitation, and equitable division, while a temporary order will be prior to a final determination on these issues.

Back to Blog