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Divorce Litigation Bullet Guide (Part 13) Temporary Orders and Pendente Lite

Divorce Litigation Bullet Guide (Part 13) Temporary Orders and Pendente LiteThe legal area of divorce litigation is brimming with confusing topics to discover for someone who has never had to traverse the ground before. If you’re approaching a divorce for the first time, it can be overwhelming to come to terms with things like equitable distribution, and phrases like “pendente lite”. With over 20 years of experience as an attorney, Mr. Darren Shapiro has the background knowledge to support his clients in answering any questions they may have about divorce.

On this website, you can find a host of articles and blogs on our blog site tailored to helping you understand various parts of the divorce process. In this particular series of bullet point guides, Mr. Shapiro is listing some of the most important information you might need to know about divorce litigation. For this part of the guide, the focus is pendente lite and temporary orders.

Is Temporary Child Support, Maintenance or Custody an Option?

Pendente lite orders refer to the requirements that a party has to follow during the course of a case until further order of the court. For instance, a court may require a party to pay for spousal maintenance until the case is fully settled. Temporary orders can be issued for a specific period of time, which may include the length of the court case, and the same terms may or may not continue in a final order, an order issued at the end of the case. Sometimes, these temporary orders can apply to issues of child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance.

  • With the help of a child custody lawyer like Mr. Shapiro, it’s possibly for a party to request a temporary custody order and spousal maintenance that asks the spouse with a higher income to pay to assist the other with expenses until the case is settled. Child support for couples with children is another important area for interim orders. While pendente lite solutions apply only during the court case, a final order lasts after the case is concluded.
  • With a pendente lite order, courts can require the monied spouse to pay higher percentages of fees for the attorney for children in child custody disputes. These orders can also apply to attorney fees and temporary orders of child support. Figuring out how much to award in these cases requires the court to consider various factors.
  • The courts follow guidelines to measure the amount of maintenance required in most cases, but there are opportunities to deviate from this formula. If the judge deems it necessary, they can order temporary maintenance amounts outside of what the guidelines might suggest. Usually, however, the court will use Law 236(B)(5-a) from Domestic Relations law to choose the amount most suitable.
  • If courts deviate from the guidelines provided for calculating spousal maintenance orders, then they must provide a reason for why they did so. Reasons can include issues the health or age of each spouse, their earning potential, or any other factor the court deems appropriate.
What are Pendente Lite Orders?

Pendente lite orders, which occur during the course of a divorce case, can be made for child support, parenting time, payment of expenses, and other temporary matters. Spouses can sometimes come to voluntary agreements regarding the amount of support necessary, and the courts may agree to those decisions following proper mediation sessions.

  • If the parties can’t reach an agreement about spousal support on their own, the courts can order specific orders that they deem to be fair. The payee will need to file a pendente lite motion to ask the court to make this order, and the other side will be able to file opposition papers to respond to the motion in the way that they seem fit.
  • The circumstances of a Pendente lite award and the amount deemed to be fair for temporary maintenance might depend on a lot of factors, including the decisions of the assigned judges for the courts of family or supreme court. The parties, however, in this case can also present their side of the story with the help of a divorce lawyer like Mr. Shapiro, to help convince the courts of the validity of a certain outcome.
  • Aside from asking a more monied spouse to pay for temporary maintenance, the courts may also request that the spouse pays other fees too. For instance, they may need to continue paying the mortgage for the home while the divorce is being settled. If a spouse paying the mortgage on the family home decides to move out of the marital resident, they may need to pay for both the expenses of their new home, and the old home in some cases.
Can Temporary Orders Cover Other Fees?

There are a variety of expenses that the courts of New York might order a spouse to pay on the behalf of a spouse with less money. In some situations, it may be possible for less-monied spouses to argue that attorney bills should be paid by the other person in the marriage, as there is a presumption that the monied spouse should pay something towards the attorney fees of the less monied spouse.

The courts will need to determine what is fair based on each unique situation. In some circumstances, the courts will ask a more monied spouse to make various payments to ensure that the other spouse may continue to fight for their side in the divorce with the help of an attorney. The presence of a pendente lite or temporary order doesn’t mean that the spouse will need to continue making payments once the divorce is over.

If you have any questions about temporary or pendente lite orders, you can check our other pages or blog articles for further information. Feel free to contact our office to get on our calendar to arrange for an initial consultation period lasting up to 30 minutes for free. This consultation is available via phone, video conference, or in person.

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