Waiting until divorce proceedings are complete to receive alimony and child support can cause significant financial hardship. Pendente lite (a Latin term meaning “pending litigation”) relief can help ease the financial burden of a lengthy divorce case. Pendente lite is a specific type of support that is paid by one spouse to another during the course of their divorce proceeding until a final order of maintenance is made by a judge. This form of temporary relief is intended to help the supported spouse pay for monthly expenses while the case continues. In addition, pendente lite orders can also prevent one spouse from asserting a financial advantage over the other, who may have fewer financial resources.
Temporary support can be obtained through an agreement with your spouse or by filing an application with the court. In New Jersey, to obtain a pendente lite order from the court you must submit a certification accompanied by a case information statement, which documents the spouses’ respective incomes, assets, and monthly expenses. The court will consider the standard of living that was established during the course of the marriage, the financial needs of the supported spouse, and the financial ability of the paying spouse when making its decision whether to grant a pendente lite order. If a pendente lite order is granted, the court may also award temporary child support, temporary alimony, costs, and an interim award of attorney’s fees.