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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Alimony > You Know Your Divorce Is Messy When The Court Orders Your Spouse To Pay Temporary Alimony

You Know Your Divorce Is Messy When The Court Orders Your Spouse To Pay Temporary Alimony


The word “alimony” strikes fear in the hearts of many breadwinner spouses, but pendente lite does not.  It just sounds like another legalese Latin term.  In fact, pendente lite alimony is the most common type of alimony that the family law courts in Alabama award.  Pendente lite alimony is also known as temporary alimony, but this term is somewhat misleading, since almost all alimony awards are temporary.  The courts award alimony only if the parties were married for decades and only if it is not possible to divide the marital property in such a way that the financially disadvantaged spouse can get a fair share of retirement income without the permanent alimony.  The good news about pendente lite alimony is that the obligations automatically end when the divorce becomes final, but the bad news is that, as expensive as pendente lite alimony can be, fighting about it in court is even more expensive.  A Birmingham alimony lawyer can help you resolve disputes with your spouse over temporary alimony while your divorce case is still pending.

If Temporary Alimony Is Temporary, Then Why Do People Fight About It?

A pendente lite alimony award requires the higher income spouse to deposit a certain amount of money in the marital bank account every month while a divorce case is in progress.  The obligation to pay pendente lite alimony automatically ends when the court finalizes the divorce, at which time the court may or may not issue a new alimony order.  In most divorce cases, the higher income spouse recognizes the need to continue paying household bills and fulfills that responsibility without the court needing to intervene.

In other words, the court only orders pendente lite alimony when the divorce is contentious enough that one spouse is willing to knowingly cause the other spouse financial hardship.  You most often encounter it in divorce cases complex enough to go to trial; the likelihood of a divorce case going to trial is directly proportional to the couple’s net worth.  For example, a court just ordered Lenny Hochstein to pay $8,000 per month to his wife Lisa, a Real Housewives of Miami cast member, while the couple’s divorce is pending.  Some divorce cases are so messy that the court must modify the pendente lite alimony award amount as the couple’s marital wealth dwindles while they spend time and money battling it out in court.  The best ways to avoid a pendente lite alimony order are to continue contributing to household bills on your own initiative and to settle your divorce quickly.

Contact Peeples Law About Keeping the Peace During Your Divorce

During a divorce case, self-limiting problems such as temporary alimony can still consume your time and energy.  A Birmingham family law attorney can help you determine how much each spouse should pay toward household expenses before and after your divorce becomes final.  Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.



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