During a marriage, spouses are accustomed to living a certain lifestyle. But what happens to this lifestyle during a divorce? Many people want it to be maintained, notwithstanding a pending divorce action. Overall, in order to maintain the status quo, a divorcing spouse may file a Motion for Pendente Lite (awaiting the litigation in Latin), which is an application for temporary relief pending the final resolution or decision of a divorce case. Specifically, during a divorce proceeding, a judge may issue a temporary order to establish parental or financial rights and responsibilities. For example, for divorcing spouses with children, the judge may grant a Motion for Pendente Lite so that they continue to be cared and supported during the pendency of a divorce action.

In general, it is very important to file a Pendente Lite Motion immediately and have a temporary hearing. Along with the Motion, the Case Information Statement, Certifications, and Order must be attached therewith. Typically, the court will schedule oral argument at least 28 days after filing the motion, but can expedite the hearing if necessary provided the party can demonstrate irreparable harm, such as the shut off of your electric or gas, and the application is filed as an Order to Show Cause. Ultimately, the Judge will review the evidence that you or your attorney presents at the hearing and outline the parties’ rights and responsibilities.

In light of the above, the following are the top reasons why you would want or need to file an application for Pendente Lite Relief:

  • The divorce proceeding may take more than six months to resolve and the parties may require certain issues to be resolved in the interim;
  • A spouse may be restrained from closing joint bank accounts, cancelling credit cards or health or life insurance policies;
  • If you have young children or are not working, you may consider filing and requesting for a temporary order if your spouse refuses to agree on paying temporary child and spousal support, childcare costs, and household bills, including payment of attorney’s fees and health, medical, or life insurance payments;
  • If you acquired property during the marriage, such as homes, cars, furniture, household wares, electronics, and other personal items, the court can prevent the parties from hiding, destroying, selling, transferring, borrowing against, or disposing of such marital assets; and
  • The court may also establish custody, visitation schedules, or child custody evaluation if the parents are unable to reach an agreement.

Depending on the information presented by the parties and their circumstances a judge may grant temporarily one parent the exclusive use and possession of the marital home and order the parents to share joint legal custody of the children. The court may also require a spouse to pay for household expenses and bills which may include mortgage payments, utilities, and insurance payments.

The Bronzino Law Firm: Helping Clients Obtain Pendente Lite Relief

Please contact The Bronzino Law Firm if you are contemplating divorce and need to protect your financial and/or parental rights. Attorney Peter Bronzino will review your circumstances and work with you to immediately file a Pendente Lite Motion, should this be required in your case. To schedule a free consultation, you may reach us at (732)391-6515 or toll free at (800) 419-0721.