Definition of Alimony Pendente Lite

Alimony pendente lite (APL) is alimony pending litigation. Because many spouses do not work and may not have income to support themselves while a divorce case is pending, often the courts will require money be paid to the dependent spouse after the divorce complaint has been filed with the court and until the divorce is finalized and the assets are distributed to the appropriate parties.

Alimony pendente lite (APL) not only allows the receiving spouse to support themselves throughout the litigation but it also will allow them to seek legal help. It can be required even if one spouse has committed adultery or has decided to leave the marriage and abandon the other spouse. Alimony pendente lite (APL) cannot be punitive, and it is generally determined by the payer’s ability to pay as determined by their separate property, their earning capacity and the need of the recipient. Prior to making awarding alimony pendente lite payments the court will also consider the reasonable living expenses of each party. For instance, if there are no children involved the alimony pendente lite is normally 40% of the difference between the net income figures.

Alimony is a difficult and contentious issue, but alimony pendente lite may help you remain on equal footing with your spouse while you wait for asset and property distribution. Talk to a divorce lawyer if you have questions.

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