When you go through a divorce, much of your focus will likely be on how issues are resolved once the divorce is final. That’s to be expected, as things like child custody and property division are important and will have long-term impacts on your life. But there are some issues, such as alimony pendente lite, which may need to be addressed immediately.
Interim spousal support
New Jersey allows the family court to order spousal support whenever the circumstances require it. Alimony pendente lite is a temporary form of spousal support which is ordered while the divorce process is still ongoing. While post-divorce spousal support may be concerned with the spouses’ future earning capacity and other such factors, temporary spousal support is concerned with the short-term.
Imagine a situation where a couple decides to divorce — one of them works full-time and is the breadwinner for the family, while the other spouse remains at home and cares for the children. When they make the decision, the breadwinner moves out of the house. How will the stay-at-home parent continue to pay the mortgage and see to the children’s need?
This is when temporary spousal support comes into play. It is intended to maintain something of a status quo while the divorce is ongoing, so that the non-breadwinning spouse is not left at a financial disadvantage – particularly if the divorce is contested and the couple cannot agree between themselves how to ensure things get paid for.
Alimony pendente lite is not granted automatically by the court – it must be requested by the spouse in need. If you believe it should be considered in your divorce, speak to a professional who is experienced in New Jersey family law.