What Is Alimony Pendente Lite?
Every divorce requires the resolution of certain issues, like how marital property will be divided, how parents will share custody, and whether one party will be required to pay alimony to the other. What many couples don’t realize, however, is that alimony, or spousal maintenance often proves to be an issue long before a divorce is actually finalized. In some cases, for instance, courts can order one spouse to pay alimony pendente lite, which is a type of temporary alimony that one spouse must pay to the other while the divorce is still pending. Read on to learn more about alimony pendente lite and whether it could be beneficial during your own divorce.
Temporary Alimony Pending the Finalization of Divorce
When many people think of alimony, they imagine one spouse making payments to the other once their divorce has been finalized. While it is true that this is the form that alimony usually takes, there are also other types of spousal maintenance. Alimony pendente lite, for instance, is a type of spousal support that is ordered before a divorce is granted and must be paid by one spouse to the other while the divorce is still pending. Alimony pendente lite, however, is not granted automatically. Instead, the lesser earning spouse, who is seeking financial assistance will need to officially request it and be able to provide evidence of financial need.
Alimony pendente lite basically exists to help a couple maintain their standard of living until their divorce can be finalized. Without such financial assistance, a lesser earning spouse may struggle to pay for daily expenses, child care, or other day-to-day costs.
Requesting Alimony Pendente Lite
When a person requests alimony pendente lite, he or she will need to submit an official petition to the court and should be prepared to provide evidence of need, including proof of income, such as pay stubs and tax returns, as well as proof of expenses, like utility costs, rent or mortgage payments, and childcare costs. When considering such a request, however, courts don’t only consider the needs of the petitioner, but also the other spouse’s circumstances. Courts will not, for instance, order alimony pendente lite if doing so simply shifts the financial disadvantage to the other spouse. If ordered, alimony pendente lite will be a reasonable amount under the circumstances and it will end upon finalization of the divorce.
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One of the most difficult aspects of divorce for many couples is figuring out how they will financially support themselves once the divorce is finalized. Some, however, may face financial difficulties even before this, while the divorce is still pending. In these cases, courts are often willing to award temporary alimony to the lesser earning spouse, at least for the duration of the divorce proceedings. For help determining whether you could qualify for alimony pendente lite, please call Fort Lauderdale alimony attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. You can also reach a member of our legal team by completing and submitting one of our online contact forms.