Temporary alimony, or alimony pendente lite, is alimony received while litigation is pending. Temporary alimony is intended to provide continued support for the dependent spouse in a marriage while the divorce is being finalized.

Power To Award Temporary Alimony

In order for temporary alimony to be awarded, some courts require the existence of a statute that specifically permits temporary alimony. Other courts, however, have not required the existence of a statute because there is a preexisting duty to support a dependent spouse. If temporary alimony is permitted, the allowance and amount of the award is left to the discretion of the court. Nonetheless, the determination of whether or not to award temporary alimony is not conclusive of the main issue in the divorce. Therefore, a decision to permit temporary alimony does not mean that permanent alimony is automatically awarded.

When And How Must Temporary Alimony Be Requested?

Since a request for temporary alimony is incidental to a divorce proceeding, application for temporary alimony is usually requested by petition or motion to the court in which the divorce is pending. The requesting party must show proof of:

  • marital relation
  • financial need of the requesting party, and
  • the financial ability of the non-requesting party.

What Considerations Are Made To Determine An Alimony Allowance?

In general, there is no fixed rule to determine an alimony allowance. Allowances will be made, however, according to legal principles and the discretion of the court will usually not be overruled unless the discretion was abused. Typically, a determination will be made according to the specific facts and circumstances of the case and will take into account some of the following factors:

  • reasonable needs of requesting spouse
  • financial ability of non-requesting spouse
  • consideration of the preseparation standard of living
  • duration of the marriage
  • ability of requesting spouse to support him/herself (including age, health, physical condition, and any dependents)

What Considerations Are Made To Determine The Amount Of Allowance?

Again, there is no fixed rule to determine the amount of allowance. Awards are usually made according to the parties previous accustomed style of living. The award will take into account living expenses and includes, but is not limited to, costs for:

  • food
  • clothing
  • shelter
  • transportation
  • medical care

How Long Does The Temporary Alimony Last?

Typically, if temporary alimony is awarded, it will last until a final divorce decree is issued or the divorce is set aside. If there is a final decree, the permanent alimony will take the place of the temporary alimony. If back payments on the temporary alimony is owed, some courts will order the payments, while others will waive those payments.

Do I Need A Divorce Attorney?

If you are a dependent spouse in a marriage, then seeking out an divorce attorney will help get you financially stable while the divorce is proceeding and may, in most cases, be able to get you money to pay the cost of a family law attorney.