Can I file for alimony pendente lite?

Alimony pendente lite, or APL for short, is the term given to a type of temporary alimony support. This type of spousal support includes a certain amount that is used to cover the cost of the divorce itself. The pendente part of APL goes to describe the temporary manner in which this spousal support is paid. It is essentially an alimony payment made for the duration of the divorce proceeding.

Although spousal support is based on certain criteria, APL is not automatic. Individuals interested in receiving APL will still need to apply for it and will have to show the Family Court that it is necessary. Since alimony, in general, is awarded based on need, APL is also awarded based on need.

When determining if a spouse is eligible for APL, a family court may consider such factors as an individual’s ability to provide for themselves during a divorce, their income and expenses. The couple’s quality of life prior to the divorce will also be considered when determining APL. Generally speaking, a Family Court may be more likely to award APL to one spouse when there is a great discrepancy between incomes and their lifestyle was of high net worth prior to the divorce.

APL, like other forms of spousal support, is a court ordered payment. And while failure to pay alimony does not carry as significant of a risk as child support delinquency does, a Family Court may take measures to recoup back owed APL payments. Whether you have been asked to make APL payments to your soon-to-be ex or are considering requesting APL, speaking to a divorce attorney can help.