Pendente lite is a Latin term meaning “pending the litigation”. Pendente lite is used to describe court orders that are implemented while litigation is still pending. For example, when someone challenge a will, a court have an ability to appoint an administrator pendente lite which can take limited measures to preserve the assets deceased until court ruling ( M. Johnson, p. 132). Also Pendente lite is used to help maintain the status quo and spell out the basics rules during the divorce litigation. Spouse can reach an agreement about financial support, custody or visitation (J.J. Gross, M.F. Callahan, p. 221).
Pendente lite is not to be confused with “lis pendent”. Lis pendent is also Latin term which means “a pending lawsuit” but is related with real property records. It is a simple document that concerns the title to property and inform about ongoing lawsuit affecting property's title. Lis pendens may relate to both real and personal property and its applicable an action in directly title to property (D.F. Hinkel, p. 196).
Pendente lite motion
Pendente lite motion are issued in divorce actions. Usually, it is an application used to ask the court for relief while the litigation is going on. For example, its are typically drafted to urge the court to different kind of financial support ( child support, interim counsel fees) to the less monied spouse. Also, if there are children in marriage you can also applicate to the court for order of custody (S.P. Schechter, p. 311-312). Pendente lite decisions are not binding for the court. A final resolution od the case might be different. For example, when one of the parent get a pendente lite custody its do not mean the same parent will be awarded permanent custody ( L.J. Ravdin, D.M. Brenneman).
Main reasons for filing a motion for pendente lite
- to awarding custody while there are children in marriage
- to establish visitation
- to request for temporary spousal maintenance
- to protect property values
Pendente lite alimony
Pendente lite alimony may be considered in divorce cases when the spouses are living apart to support to the less monied spouse. It is financial support granted until final hearing. Pendente lite alimony awarded is usually sufficient to provide only basic needs.( J.J. Gross, M.F. Callahan, p. 205) Contrary to permanent alimony, pendente lite alimony is a temporary solution to give financial support during the divorce (Vill. L. Rev. 187 (1970), p. 186).
- Gross J. J.,Callahan M. F. (2006), Money and Divorce: The First 90 Days and After, SphinxLegal
- Hinkel D. F. (2007), Essentials of Practical Real Estate Law, Cengage Learning
- Johnson M.(2013), The Illustrated Dictionary of Law, Lotus Press
- Ravdin L.J., BrennemanD. M. (2018), Domestic Relations Manual for the District of Columbia, LexisNexis
- Schechter S.P. (2012), New York Family Law , Cengage Learning
- Vill. L. Rev. 187 (1970), Permanent Alimony upon Absolute Divorce - A Necessary Change in Pennsylvania Law
Author: Wioletta Szymska