Alimony And Family Use Property Before A Final Divorce Hearing
Alimony Pendente Lite
Alimony pendent lite is a monetary award made by the Court pending the outcome of a divorce action. It may also include a reasonable allowance for attorneys’ fees for prosecution of the divorce action. The purpose of pendent lite alimony is “to maintain the status quo of the parties” so the spouse seeking alimony will not suffer financial hardship pending the final resolution of the divorce proceedings. The sole object of a pendent lite alimony award is to provide for food, clothes, habitation and other necessaries where the requesting party does not have the ability to provide for himself or herself.
When seeking a pendente lite alimony award, the party requesting alimony must prove the following factors:
- The pendency of a divorce action wherein alimony is sought.
- The existence of a marriage between the parties.
- A probable cause of action or defense on the part of the applicant with reasonable probability of success at trial.
- Financial inability of the requesting spouse to support himself / herself and or to prosecute or defend the divorce action.
- The ability of the other spouse to make the payments.
The primary consideration when making a pendente lite alimony award is based on the reasonable needs of the recipient spouse against the other spouse’s ability to pay.
The factors that are considered for an award of alimony (“permanent” after final hearing -as set forth in MD Code (Family) Section 11-106(b)) are not considered when making a temporary alimony award (alimony pendente lite).
The award of temporary and permanent alimony are separate and distinct awards. The amount awarded as pendent lite alimony does not control or place any constraints on the judge when awarding permanent alimony.
Furthermore, the parties’ standards of living is considered when determining the status quo and the prevention of financial hardship.
Use And Possession
Under Maryland law, the Court in awarding the possession and use of the family home and family use personal property shall consider each of the following factors:
- The best interest of the child (children)
- The interest of each party in continuing
- to use family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it as a dwelling place or
- to use family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it for the production or income
- Any hardship imposed on the party whose interest in the family home or family use personal property is infringed on by an order issued.
This Special Report is intended to provide basic information about the selected legal topic. The information is provided solely for informational purposes and does not create a business or professional relationship with the Law Offices of Fogam & Associates, LLC, Edwin K. Fogam, or any of our individual attorneys, or affiliates. This is not presented as legal advice. Each person’s legal needs are unique. Laws change frequently, and it is possible that some of the information here may no longer be true at the time of reading, or may not apply to someone in your situation or jurisdiction. You should consult with an attorney familiar with the law in your jurisdiction and your particular situation before making specific legal decisions.