In the time between when your case is first filed and the time you will actually get a divorce, there will in many cases be any number of matters which require temporary (Pendente Lite) decisions by the Court. Pendente Lite decisions are made upon written application (you will hear your attorney call this a Motion) to the Court supported by sworn statements (Affidavits) by you and any witnesses that may support your position. After the motion is filed your attorney will appear in court for the purposes of arguing the Motion, the court will not normally take testimony from you or any of your witnesses.
Pendente Lite decisions generally cover:
- Temporary Custody and Time Sharing Issues;
- Restraints on the dissipation of assets;
- Payment of direct expenses for Shelter (Schedule “A”) and Transportation (Schedule “B”);
- Direct Support (Alimony and/or Child Support) (Don’t forget to address the taxability of any alimony or unallocated payments);
- Maintenance of medical and life insurance;
- Payment of unreimbursed health care costs;
- Payment of marital liabilities;
- Sole possession of marital home;
- Sole possession of certain vehicle(s);
- Maintenance of other assets (e.g., rental or shore properties);
- Production of discovery (if requirements of R. 1:6-2(c) have been met);
- Appointment of Experts and Payment of their fees
- Counsel Fees (both as to the motion and a pendente lite award)
*This is certainly not an exhaustive list.
The pendente lite will stay in effect until the court either makes a final determination of the case at the time of final hearing or alters its temporary decision on the subsequent Pendente Lite applications by you or your spouse.