Temporary (Pendente Lite) Court Orders

Family Law Attorneys Serving Monmouth County Residents

For many divorcing couples, alimony or spousal support is a huge consideration. Families often make financial arrangements or live a certain way during the marriage, and all of this may change during a divorce. However, a drastic and immediate shift may not be appropriate while the details of the permanent arrangements are being worked out. A court may consider granting temporary spousal support or pendente lite support while a divorce is pending. A temporary (pendente lite) court order can be a critical issue in a divorce because it may set the tone for the permanent order and final support award. At Goldstein Law Group, our Monmouth County family law lawyers have experience helping people in many New Jersey communities pursue and challenge temporary court orders.

Seeking a Temporary (Pendente Lite) Court Order

It is not uncommon for spouses to wonder how they will support themselves as their family structure changes, or whether they may have to pay alimony when they get divorced. During the divorce, however, it can also be stressful to develop a concrete plan for how you will pay your expenses every month, including mortgages or rent, utilities, and groceries. Pendente lite support is a legal term used to describe temporary financial support that is provided to a spouse during New Jersey divorce proceedings.

In some cases, spouses agree that temporary spousal support is acceptable. They can decide through their attorneys or at mediation that one spouse is responsible for paying some or all of the monthly expenses, at least until the divorce is finalized. With the help of their attorneys, they can enter into a "consent order," which is a binding document explaining the terms of the agreement that is signed by the attorneys and judge. Once the judge signs this order, its terms form a pendente lite award. This award is replaced when the judge issues a final divorce judgment.

In other cases, a spouse firmly refuses to provide the other spouse with financial support during the divorce, or agrees to an amount that is insufficient for the other spouse to live on. In that case, the spouse who needs support will have to request pendente lite relief from the judge. He or she will have to submit a certification that describes the facts related to his or her lifestyle and a document describing both spouses' expenses, incomes, and assets. The court will make a determination about whether pendente lite relief is appropriate, based not only on the requesting spouse's financial needs, but also the financial ability of the other spouse to make the payments, as well as the couple's standard of living during the marriage.

The court will look at the lifestyle shared by you and your spouse during marriage when deciding how much temporary support to award. The purpose of the award is to make sure a supported spouse's living expenses are covered during the divorce at the same standard of living that the marriage established. Pendente lite support can also help a stay-at-home spouse while he or she tries to find a job or goes back to school. The court assumes that spouses should not have to experience too radical a shift in their lifestyles while their marriage is ending.

Discuss a Family Law Matter with a Monmouth County Lawyer

If you are concerned about a temporary (pendente lite) court order, you should consult an experienced lawyer to make sure that the court will appropriately address the issue. The divorce attorneys at Goldstein Law Group have assisted many individuals from their main office in Metuchen, New Jersey. We also serve clients in Rumson, Red Bank, and Manalapan, as well as communities throughout Middlesex County. Contact us at 732-967-6777 or via our online form to set up a Free 10 Minute Case Evaluation* with a Monmouth County attorney.

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