Part 1 – Financial Motions During the Pendency of a Divorce Action

A variety of factors can impact the length of a divorce case in Connecticut, such as the complexity of issues, the Court’s schedule and the overall willingness of the parties to work together to reach an agreement. Divorce cases in Connecticut can last for a year or even longer in some circumstances. What happens if you and your spouse have a dispute over issues that must be addressed during the pendency of your divorce action? Fortunately, you do not have to wait until the end of your case to get the court’s
decision if there are disagreements regarding child custody, visitation, spousal or child support, possession of property or attorney fees during your case. You can file a pendente lite Motion, which is a request for the Court to make orders during the course of the action, prior to your divorce trial or final judgment.

Financial disputes are a common reason that motions are filed pendente lite. For example, if you and your spouse cannot decide on how to divide the family income and expenses during your divorce, it is appropriate to file a motion to establish temporary alimony, child support, or contribution to household expenses. In advance of filing financial motions during your divorce, you should prepare your financial affidavit with your attorney. This way, any relevant information regarding your financial circumstances
can be included or highlighted within the motion. Also, you will be prepared to exchange financial affidavits with your spouse, which must be done at least five days in advance of the Hearing on your motion, and sooner in some cases.

Typically, about three or four weeks after your motion is filed with the Court, you will be able to appear at the Courthouse in order to have it heard. If you are unable to resolve the issues with an agreement, your attorney will have an opportunity to present evidence and argue before a Judge. At a minimum, the court will require testimony from you or your spouse and information regarding your family’s financial needs, sources and amount of income and standard of living, and assets and liabilities prior to entering
interim financial orders. In Connecticut, there are statutory factors that the Judge must consider when deciding pendente lite motions for alimony or child support, so additional information and testimony might be needed. These factors include (but are not limited to) the ages and health of the parties, their employability and skills, and the needs of the children. Ultimately, the Court will decide how to weigh the statutory factors in your case. The Court does not have to give equal weight to each factor. There is no formula for temporary (or permanent) alimony in Connecticut. There are, however, Child Support Guidelines that the Court will use in order to determine the minimum presumptive amount of child support to be paid from one spouse to the other.

There is no formula for temporary (or permanent) alimony in Connecticut. There are, however, Child Support Guidelines that the Court will use in order to determine the minimum presumptive amount of child support to be paid from one spouse to the other.

While pendente lite orders are intended to temporarily resolve issues during the pendency of the action, there may be a significant lapse of time between the filing and adjudication of your motion. Connecticut law allows for retroactivity of alimony orders back to the date of filing the application as well as credit for voluntary payments made since the filing of the application, within the discretion of the Court.

At Broder & Orland LLC we are committed to assisting clients in Greenwich, Ridgefield, Fairfield and neighboring towns, navigate through all aspects of the divorce process, including the resolution of pendente lite financial issues.