Temporary Custody and Support Pendente Lite

Birmingham temporary custody and support attorneys, striking early to protect our clients during the pendency of a divorce in Alabaster, Helena, Bessemer and all of the Birmingham area

You are considering filing for divorce, but you are worried what will happen during the divorce.  Common concerns are:

  • Who will get the house during the divorce?
  • Will I get spousal support during the divorce?
  • Will I get child support while the divorce is pending?
  • Who gets the kids during this divorce process?
  • What are my visitation rights prior to the divorce being finalized?
  • How do I keep my spouse from spending all of our savings?

Alabama law allows a party to request certain matters be addressed on a temporary basis during the pendency of the divorce.  These requests are called “pendente lite”.  A hearing on a pendent lite request usually governs the rights and actions of the parties to a recently filed divorce request until the divorce is final, although the Court can modify these pendente lite requests on a showing of material change of circumstances.

The court in a Pendente Lite hearing should make an attempt to keep both parties at as close to status quo as possible while the divorce is pending.  This means temporary alimony may be ordered to a spouse who otherwise cannot support themselves.  Likewise, liberal visitation will be given a parent who does not obtain temporary custody, unless there is evidence that liberal visitation is not in the child’s best interest due to abuse or some other factor.

Just as the name suggests, these pendente lite orders expire after the divorce is no longer pending.  Just because the Birmingham domestic relations court orders temporary alimony, does not mean the court will order the same amount, or any at all, after the divorce is completed.  Everything is temporary, and only meant to protect the parties until the divorce is final.

Pendente Lite hearings are often like mini divorce trials.  If you or your spouse are seeking temporary relief from the domestic relations court pendente lite, you need a qualified divorce attorney to represent your interests.  Divorce cases can last up to a year or longer, so even though these Orders are temporary, they can substantially affect your quality of life for a significant period of time.

If you are considering a divorce in Birmingham, Hoover, Chelsea, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Columbiana, or anywhere else in the Jefferson County and Shelby County area, contact our Alabama divorce attorneys, Jim Parkman and William White, to protect your interests from the beginning  of the divorce until its over.