You’ve filed an action in Court for child custody, child support, and/or visitation. Meanwhile it’s been months since you’ve gotten financial support, visitation is inconsistent, and you’re concerned with the current living arrangements. Your hearing date is months away or worse, not even scheduled. What do you while you wait for your hearing? On this week’s #FamilyFriday article, the attorney’s at ERA Law Group, LLC want to help families understand how to obtain temporary relief by way of a Pendente Lite hearing.
When couples divorce, separate, or parent in different households many find it difficult to decide how much child support, who should pay it, when they should pay it, and what visitation schedule is fair. In the event an agreement cannot be reached or an informal arrangement is not working, one parent is often forced take action and ask the Court to enter an Order setting child support, custody, and visitation. Unfortunately, in many counties it could take 6 or more months until a hearing date is set to settle the issues between the parties. In that interim period parties are often at a loss as to how to deal with support or visitation.
Pendente Lite is a Latin term that translates to “awaiting/pending the litigation.” Maryland Courts use a Pendente Lite hearing as an opportunity to create a temporary order related to child support, custody, visitation, and/or use and possession of the marital home while the parties await the final hearing on the merits. In highly litigious cases, this also provides a good opportunity to get a glance at the other parties’ argument in support of their case for custody, support, and/or visitation and prepare accordingly for the final trial. In some cases, the Pendente Lite hearing also encourages the parties’ to settle their dispute prior to the scheduled trial.
In most counties the Court will ask whether a Pendente Lite hearing is necessary during one of your first appearances at Court. If you and the other party do have an agreement or arrangement, you may not find it necessary. If you don’t have an arrangement, aren’t seeing your child, aren’t receiving child support, etc., you will want to be sure a Pendente Lite hearing is scheduled as soon as possible.
Call ERA Law Group, LLC today at (410) 919-1790 and ask how we can help you get the relief you need as soon as possible!