Pendente Lite is a term that literally means during litigation. It’s used for temporary court orders that are only in effect while other related matters are determined.
Pendente lite is often a part of divorce proceedings. When a couple decides to get a divorce, it’s unlikely they will want to continue living as though they were married until the divorce is actually settled. A pendente lite order can be given to address issues of how a couple should move forward until the divorce is actually settled.
If one spouse is dependent financially on the other, he or she could as for a pendente lite order for spousal support. It’s not the same thing as alimony, which can come later in some divorce cases. Instead, it keeps the financial situation as stable as possible for both parties until later decisions are made.
For example, the breadwinning spouse might move out of the family home and into an apartment, but a pendente lite order can require that he or she continues to pay the utility bills for the home.
A Howard County, MD divorce attorney can provide more information about pendente lite agreements.