What is the Pendente Lite Motion?

Answers from Our Westchester Divorce Attorney

In a contested divorce action it may be necessary to ask the Court for immediate emergency relief. This is done by first filing a divorce action with the court and then filing a pendente lite motion for emergency relief. This motion is very important as it sets the tone for the entire divorce litigation and must be proper in form and substance. If you need assistance through this process, contact us for your case evaluation!

The relief that is usually sought in a pendente lite motion includes the following:

  1. Temporary; custody, visitation, child support and maintenance (alimony)
  2. Exclusive occupancy of the marital residence
  3. Temporary orders of protection
  4. Award of counsel fees
  5. Award of appraiser and/or expert fees
  6. Restraining orders to freeze marital assets, outside the automatic orders

A proper pendent lite motion will consist of the following documents:

  1. Notice of Motion outlining the exact relief sought
  2. An affidavit from the party setting forth why the relief is necessary
  3. An affirmation of an attorney as to the application (especially with respect to counsel fees)
  4. Memorandum of law
  5. The party's sworn Statement of Net Worth
  6. The party's last two years of tax returns
  7. The Party's last two paystubs
  8. The attorney's retainer agreement.

Once this pendent lite motion is submitted to the Court the nonmoving spouse will have an opportunity to respond in writing. The Court will also schedule the matter for oral argument and a decision. This usually happens in a quick time frame, even in a matter of weeks.

The Westchester County Process

In Westchester County, the New York Supreme Court matrimonial part developed rules governing motion practice including pendent lite motions. The rules allow for pendent lite motions only in the event of an actual emergency. Absent an emergency, court permission is necessary to file any motion after both parties and their attorneys participate in a pre-motion court conference. The purpose of the pre-motion conference is to try to resolve the issues raised without the need for written motions.

Get the Help of a Westchester County Family Lawyer

To properly determine if a pendent lite motion is necessary in your divorce action you must consult with an experienced divorce attorney. The lawyers at Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP have handled countless divorce actions including pendent lite motions. Our attorneys work aggressively to protect your rights to get results.

How can an attorney help?

In any divorce action it is essential that you are represented by an attorney. At the law firm of Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP our attorneys have extensive experience in both uncontested and contested divorce matters. In fact it is not uncommon that our attorneys may recommend you begin your matter as an uncontested divorce before moving forward into a contested litigated divorce case.

We offer a Free Initial Legal Consultation for all Divorce Matters

As part of our commitment to providing excellent legal representation to all of our clients, whether they are a new client, existing client or returning client, our Westchester County divorce lawyers provide FREE INITIAL LEGAL CONSULTATIONS.

Contact our law firm for more information about how our experienced White Plains divorce lawyers can help you with your divorce matter. Contact us online or by telephone at (914) 840-5104.

Accomplishments & Media