When parties begin so far apart in the process of divorce, one or both parties may need to request temporary relief from the court until the final dissolution of the marriage – how will custody of the children be handled? Who will have possession of the marital home? Who will pay for all the monthly expenses and support the children? How will property be safeguarded so one spouse does not deplete marital assets? These issues are resolved through a motion pendente lite, or PDL motion.
Valuation of Assets
A PDL Motion may be filed any time after the initiation of the dissolution of marriage proceeding. A party may ask for the following relief:
- Legal Custody of the Minor Children
- Physical Custody of the Minor Children
- Exclusive Possession of the Marital Residence
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (maintenance)
- Attorney Fees
- Restraining Orders
Once the PDL Motion is filed, the other party must file an answer and the trial court will set the motion for a hearing. If the parties do not agree to a temporary order, the court will hold the hearing and each side may present evidence and testimony on the claims raised in the PDL Motion. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court will issue a Judgment PDL. Critically, a Judgment PDL is a final judgment, which means a party may appeal it, a party may move to modify it later, and a party may be held in contempt for failing to abide by its provisions.
PDL Motions are critically important, particularly for parties who anticipate a lengthy proceeding, because it sets out a schedule of custody, assures the financial security of both parties and the children, helps to tone down potential recurring conflicts, particularly in the marital home, and assures that the status quo is maintained until the final entry of the dissolution of marriage. A PDL motion is meant as a temporary hold to keep the peace, a place of stability, without burdening one party too severely during a difficult transition period. Because the PDL will remain in place for potentially many months, you want to make sure the terms are as favorable as possible with regard to your interests and those of the children, which will require the skills of an experienced family law attorney. An unfair or one-sided PDL can cause financial havoc and establish poor custody habits that could influence the final outcome of the divorce.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters, including PDL motions. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including child custody, child support, spousal support and property issues.
Time To Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.
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