Is Temporary Spousal Maintenance An Option While A Divorce Is Pending?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Alimony

As you go through the motions of divorce, you may have a multitude of questions running through your mind about your future. Spousal maintenance is probably one of the most pressing concerns, especially if you’re financially dependent on your spouse or worried about your financial stability during the divorce proceedings.

In New York, there are two main types of spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony: temporary alimony and post-divorce alimony. Pendente lite, or temporary spousal support is ordered during the pendency of the divorce proceedings to address immediate needs until a final judgment is made.

When is pendente lite deemed necessary in a New York divorce?

Temporary spousal support may be considered during a New York divorce under the following circumstances:

  • Income disparity: When one spouse earns significantly more than the other, temporary spousal support becomes essential during divorce proceedings. This assistance addresses the financial disparity by providing necessary aid to the lower-earning spouse, helping ensure they can maintain a reasonable living standard until a final judgment is reached.
  • Child welfare and support: Where there are children involved, the court may deem pendente lite necessary to secure their welfare and address immediate financial needs. Temporary spousal support helps the custodial parent provide for the children’s basic necessities such as housing, education, healthcare and extracurricular activities until a final custody and support arrangement is established. This helps ensure that the children’s well-being is prioritized and that their standard of living is maintained during the divorce process.
  • Financial dependency: If one spouse is dependent on the other, temporary spousal support is often necessary to prevent financial hardship during the divorce proceedings. This support helps the financially dependent spouse cover essential expenses and maintain a reasonable standard of living until a final settlement is reached.

If a spouse does not meet these circumstances, they may not receive spousal support.

How can I file a pendente lite motion?

In New York, the process for filing a temporary spousal support motion typically involves the following steps:

  • Drafting the motion: This involves preparing the motion papers such as the Notice of Motion and Affidavit of Support, outlining the relief sought and reasons for the request.
  • Filing the motion: Submit the completed motion papers to the county clerk in the New York county where the divorce case is filed, making sure all necessary documentation is included.
  • Serving the motion: Legally serve the other party with the motion papers, following New York’s procedural requirements to allow them to respond.
  • Attending the hearing: Both parties attend a court hearing where arguments and evidence are presented and the judge decides on the pendente lite relief.
  • Receiving the decision: After the hearing, the judge issues an order granting or denying the requested relief, enforceable until the divorce is finalized.

The process of filing a motion for temporary spousal support in New York requires a clear understanding of the court’s procedural requirements and meticulous preparation of motion papers to accurately convey the need for relief. At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.

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Mia Poppe, Esq.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner