Understanding a Motion for Pendente Lite

The time after you decide to divorce but before you are divorced can stretch for many months, and sometimes for years. During a divorce trial or as you negotiate with your spouse and the divorce moves forward, important decisions are made about property division, spousal and child support, and parenting issues, if there is a child involved. 

But what about the time between the decision to divorce and the granting of that divorce? The bills need to be paid, and the house must be maintained — and who stays in the marital residence?

Pendente lite is a term referring to relief gained in the interim, while your divorce is pending finalization or litigation. Working with a family law attorney experienced in divorce litigation is essential when considering pendente lite measures for the following reasons:

  • Relief granted by a pendente lite motion lasts until the final judgment in your divorce is entered. This may be eight months or several years, depending on your case. Understanding the support each party receives or pays in the meantime is essential.
  • Temporary pendente lite motions deal with issues that include who resides in the marital home, child and spousal support, protection of marital assets, payment and maintenance of health and life insurance, payment of legal fees, and protective orders, when needed.
  • The structure and argument of pendente lite motions sets a precedent that can bear on financial and other awards later ordered by the court.

The initial period after the decision to divorce is made can be emotionally and financially destabilizing. Knowledgeable legal counsel understands your situation, how best to protect your financial future and how to pursue what you desire.

If you’re considering divorce, talk with our firm for aggressive protection of your legal rights.

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