A Pendente Lite (or temporary support) hearing is often your first actual appearance in front of the judge in your divorce case. If you have filed for divorce and haven’t yet reached an agreement, your attorney will probably schedule a PL hearing to help provide support while the divorce is pending. A PL hearing can handle all sorts of things, from child and spousal support, to injunctions preventing your husband from wasting marital assets, from having his new girlfriend over when the children are present, and even granting you exclusive use and possession of the house.
As you can probably imagine, this hearing is pretty important. Not only is it your first time in front of the judge, but it’s also your chance to ask for what you need to make it through to the end of your divorce. A lot of times, finances become very tricky once husband and wife separate, and what little money is left is often taken by one party and denied to the other.
You and your attorney should meet before the pendente lite hearing to discuss what you might like to request. Most of the time, these hearings are settled by the attorneys in the hall or in a small conference room at the courthouse before the hearing, so it’s a good idea to have a list of requests in mind before you go in. If you and your attorney have properly prepared for the hearing, you should have no trouble understanding each other on the day of your hearing.
There is a lot of pressure in court for attorneys to be able to settle these things. Judges don’t usually like to settle them themselves. In your case, the judge may decide, but it’s much more likely that you and your attorney will talk to your husband and his attorney and you’ll ultimately reach an agreement. The best case scenario is that you’ll have a little extra financial support in place, and you will impress the judge with your ability to compromise and be reasonable early in the game.