The initialism PDL stands for “pendente lite,” latin for “temporary”. Divorce can be a lengthy process. Too often, spouses are left to their own devices when it comes to finances, the house, cars, and their children. Figuring out how to divide the household while a divorce is pending can be extremely stressful for couples parting ways. This is where a PDL can help.
A PDL motion can be filed to ask the court for temporary assistance in a divorce case. It can also apply to paternity cases as well, although the law is a bit murkier on that topic.
How does a PDL Motion Work?
A PDL can be very timely. For example, a spouse who is being denied time with his or her children may file a PDL Motion for a temporary custody arrangement. If a stay-at-home spouse finds herself cut off from the family income, she may use a PDL to obtain temporary maintenance. PDLs can also be used to prevent one spouse from draining bank accounts, disposing of important financial assets, or otherwise damaging finances or assets. If granted, the PDL will remain in order until further amendment, dismissal, settlement, or other resolution of the case.
It is important to note that PDLs are not always granted by a judge. Judges have the power to grant, grant in part, deny or even amend your PDL. It is also important to note that many times a PDL Motion does not proceed to a hearing. Judges do not want to hear cases twice, so many times the parties end up consenting to a temporary agreement with some input from the Judge to avoid a hearing. Beware of consenting to an unfavorable deal just because it is temporary though. Any temporary agreement will frame the case from that point forward.