A pendente lite motion is a request for judicial intervention at the outset of a case to address urgent issues that cannot wait until the conclusion of the case. It is common that spouses are accustomed to a certain lifestyle during the marriage, however upon the commencement of a divorce action certain requests may be asked of the court in order to maintain that lifestyle. In the event spouses cannot agree amongst themselves to certain terms during their divorce, one spouse will make a motion asking the court to grant certain relief which includes but is not limited to: temporary custody and parenting time, temporary child support, exclusive use and occupancy of the marital residence, an order directing the monied spouse to pay the carrying costs of the property, temporary maintenance, and interim counsel fees.
Pendente Lite request is sought though a motion called an Order to Show Cause. Opposing counsel will file opposition papers which may or may not include a request their own relief. Finally, Reply papers will be filed. Once all papers are filed, they will be submitted to the court for consideration. A court will then issue a “Pendente Lite Order,” which is a temporary order awarding certain relief pending the final resolution or decision of the case so that the spouse/children will continue to be supported and cared for during the divorce.