Family Law Issues That Arise Pendente Lite in a Divorce Or Pending a Divorce And How They Are Generally Treated
During a divorce there are a number of issues that generally arise while the parties are awaiting the finalization of their divorce, this period is generally called the pendente lite period or the period pending the divorce litigation. Issues of child support, child custody, spousal support and payment for the status quo bills and insurance are issues that confront the parties during the pendente lite period. Generally, the status quo is to be maintained pending a divorce but there are reasons where that may change. If you are going to be seeking a divorce and are concerned about what issues may arise when you file your complaint for divorce, please call Green & Associates at 732-390-0480 or 201-242-1119 to set up your free consultation, so we may speak directly to you about how best to handle your particular issues pending a divorce.
A number of common questions are asked, such as, may the parties continue to live together upon the filing of a divorce complaint or may the parties separate, and how does that affect my rights in the marital residence. In addition, if one party is the primary breadwinner, what is that party's obligations pending a divorce. Additional questions arise regarding insurance, such as, must medical and other health insurance be continued for both parties pending a divorce and how should auto insurance be handled if the parties are now living apart.
Generally, as previously stated, the status quo should be maintained. So, if one or the other party has been paying certain bills, generally those bills should continued to be paid by that party. However, if a party leaves the marital residence and is in need of additional support, that may be a request made through a Pendente Lite Motion for Support. Often, there is good reason for one party or the other to leave the marital residence pending a divorce, when that party moves out, support may be necessary for a spouse and for children.
As to insurance, one party may decide that they wish to terminate the insurance, whether that be health or auto insurance. Generally, that is not permitted pending the divorce. However, if parties are no longer living together, separate auto insurance may then be required. Medical insurance is generally maintained until the parties divorce at which time they are generally responsible for their own medical insurance after the divorce.
Generally, pending the divorce, issues of equitable distribution of the marital residence and retirement accounts or pensions are not dealt with, as they are delineated in any Matrimonial or Property Settlement Agreement in the final terms of any divorce. Pendente Lite issues generally revolve around issues of maintaining support until the final terms of the divorce are settled upon by the parties.
If a pendente lite motion is filed, then both parties are required to submit Case Information Statements which outline their expenses for travel, housing and personal expenses. In addition, proofs of income and assets and liabilities are also stated in the CIS. With this information, the Court is better able to determine the exact needs of the parties pending their divorce. If the parties cannot settle upon how the status quo may be maintained pending the divorce, the Court will decide with a Court Order ordering spousal support, child support and continuation of payments for other matters such as insurance, until the divorce is finalized. However, a Pendente Lite Order is not at all necessarily what will be the final terms of the divorce. The parties still may settle their matter well before a court has a trial and decides thefinal terms of their divorce. In addition, discovery may uncover additional documentation that will persuade the parties to agree to settle and/or the court to rule in a far different manner than any pendente lite terms.
If you are seeking a divorce and are concerned about what you will do in the interim period, please call us to review your options during any pendente lite divorce period.