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How to prepare for a pendente lite hearing

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Divorce

The divorce process involves various issues and it takes time to get the final determination on matters such as child and spousal support. In Virginia, you can file a motion for temporary support, known as pendente lite support to address financial needs during the divorce proceedings. However, pendente lite relief is not limited to matters of support. Some of the needs a pendente lite motion may seek to address include:

  • Temporary child support to ensure the well-being of the children during the divorce process (including contribution for out-of-pocket or unreimbursed medical, dental, and vision costs);
  • Temporary spousal support to maintain financial stability for a dependent spouse;
  • Temporary exclusive use of marital assets, such as the family home or vehicles, to provide a suitable living arrangement;
  • Temporary payment of certain household expenses, including mortgage or rent and utilities, to maintain the family’s standard of living;
  • Temporary continuation of healthcare coverage for a spouse; or
  • And advance of funds from the marital estate to be able to cover some attorney fees so that you can maintain your divorce suit.

How you can get ready for your hearing

After you file for pendente lite relief, there are several ways you can prepare for the hearing, such as:

  • Gather documentation: Collect all relevant financial records including income statements, bank statements, tax returns and expenses related to the needs mentioned in your motion.
  • Organize your evidence: Arrange your documents and evidence in a clear and logical manner to make them easy to reference during the hearing.
  • Prepare your testimony: Anticipate questions you may be asked during the hearing and prepare clear, concise answers. Be ready to provide evidence supporting your motion and explaining why it’s necessary. If your case is heard in a court that has a special procedure for pendente lite hearings (such as Fairfax or Loudoun County), ask your lawyer to explain how those procedures occur.
  • Manage your expectations: Most pendente lite hearings are very short (only 20 or 30 minutes), and they are not meant to provide closure on the issues of your case. It is more of a temporary “band-aid” to ensure certain costs, bills, and needs are met during the pendency of the case.

Legal counsel can help you understand the complexities of the legal process, offer strategic guidance on preparation and presentation and advocate for your interests during the hearing to increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

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