Receiving and Paying Support during Divorce: Pendente Lite Support

In many marriages, one spouse earns considerably more income than the other. During divorce proceedings, this can be problematic if the lower-earning spouse suddenly finds themselves unable to pay their bills and expenses. Pendente lite support addresses this problem by helping spouses to maintain the same or a similar financial situation that existed during the marriage for the duration of the divorce proceedings. It also helps to avoid problems that can occur if one spouse decides to stop paying bills, or to drop the other spouse from their insurance.

What if one spouse can’t support themselves during a divorce?

What usually occurs when one spouse earns significantly less income is that their attorney files a motion for pendente lite support. The judge will then review the case your attorney presents and outline each parties’ rights and responsibilities throughout the divorce. In some cases, one spouse may be required to pay for the living expenses of the other during the duration of the divorce process.

However, keep in mind that pendente lite support, also commonly referred to as temporary alimony, is only effective during the divorce proceedings. It will be terminated immediately once a divorce settlement has been reached.

What are the reasons for pendente lite support?

There are variety of reasons a spouse might want to file an application for pendente lite support. Some of the most common include:

  • Divorces can be long. Although the court system tries to expedite the divorce process as much as possible, some divorce proceedings can take six months or longer to resolve. Pendente lite support can help you survive financially during this time.
  • To protect your assets. An order from a judge can prevent your spouse from selling or destroying important assets.
  • The children. If your spouse has decided to stop paying for the children’s expenses, pendente lite support can make them legally obligated to pay.
  • To protect other aspects of your finances. A ruling on pendente lite support can stop your spouse from canceling credit cards, insurance policies, joint bank accounts, or from refusing to pay vital utilities such as power and gas.

If you find yourself unable to support yourself and your children during your divorce proceedings, discuss with an experienced family law attorney how you can apply for pendente lite support. Your decision to get a divorce should not mean you have to suffer financially during the process.

Contact a New Jersey Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about pendente lite support in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Steven M. Cytryn at (732) 214-1103. We understand divorce can be difficult and emotionally trying, which is why we provide compassionate guidance while aggressively advocating for you.

Steven M. Cytryn
About the Author: Steven Cytryn
Steven M. Cytryn is the Managing Member of The Law Office of Steven M. Cytryn, LLC, and primarily focuses his practice on divorce and family law matters.