Yes, you may obtain an order for temporary spousal support pending the final judgment of divorce, otherwise known as “pendente lite” support. Pendente lite support is meant to maintain the marital status quo to the extent reasonably possible. This means that the court will attempt to require the spouse who is in a superior financial position to contribute to the other spouse’s expenses in the same or similar fashion as when the parties lived together in an intact household. Sometimes a judge will simply order a spouse to pay a portion or all of the mortgage or other household bills in lieu of direct payment to the other spouse.
<>If your spouse does not voluntarily give you temporary support, you will have to apply for it in family court. Both spouses must file a legal document called a case information statement, which outlines each spouse’s income, expenses, assets, and debts. You may also ask the judge to order your spouse to advance or pay for you to retain counsel to represent you in divorce proceedings. This may be appropriate if your spouse is in a financially superior position to you in order to level the playing field during your divorce litigation.
Brad Micklin is a family lawyer in Nutley, NJ.