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Pendente lite orders for deciding child custody during divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2022 | Divorce |

Going through a divorce is difficult for anyone, but when you share a child with your spouse this separation process often becomes more complicated and emotional.

Because a divorce can take months or years to finalize, requesting temporary orders is often a good option for many families.

Pendente lite

Latin for pending the litigation, this term refers to orders put into place while the matters of the case are still undecided. Such orders are temporary but can serve to relieve tension and set boundaries while all parties are adjusting to a new way of life. Either spouse can request a pendent lite order to receive temporary arrangements. While not exclusively used for divorce matters like child custody, they are often used in these cases.


Some divorcing couples may find it easy to accommodate one another and agree to certain terms while separated. However, many spouses are unable to compromise and need assistance from an objective third party to decide the terms they will need to abide by. Child visitation and custody matters that cause disagreements between parents can be lead to stress and upheaval that is difficult for the children.

Pendente lite orders will put temporary arrangements in place that cater to the best interests of the child. Support, visitation, legal and physical custody are usually included, as well as for deciding who will retain ownership or residence in the family home.

It is important to remember that these decisions are temporary and may change when the divorce becomes finalized.