Spousal Support

Spousal Support

There is a statutory formula for calculating spousal support during the pendency of a divorce action (“Pendente Lite”). In contested matrimonial matters (cases where the parties cannot agree and must seek the assistance of the Court in resolving the issues relevant to their divorce) often a “Pendente Lite Order” is issued. A Pendente Lite Order sets forth each parties legal obligations during the pendency of the matrimonial action. This order can often be in effect for years while your case is pending. Once a pendente lite order is issued (and they are generally issued very early in the case), it is very difficult to change it.

After your case is resolved, (by Settlement or Court order after trial), the formula for calculating spousal support no longer applies and experienced attorneys will guide you and/or the Court to a spousal support number that is most appropriate for your case.

This is a perfect example of why the right legal team is essential from the beginning of your case. An experienced attorney will present the whole picture to the Judge which should include all carrying charges paid on the marital residence, perhaps any income earned by your spouse that is not easily detectible, your spouse’s earning capacity even if he or she has no current income, and other relevant issues. You must have an experienced attorney who can present the information to the Court in the light most favorable to you and, in many instances, convince the Court to deviate from the statutory formula.