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Modifying a Temporary Order

If the Court has issued a Temporary Order for spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, possession of property, or payments of debts, can they be modified later?

Michele E. D’Onofrio’s Answer:

A “Temporary Order” is also known as a “pendente lite” Order. A pendente lite decision is arrived at based on written submissions to the Court called motions. The facts and written evidence submitted to the Court by both of the litigant’s along with oral argument of the attorneys for the parties is considered by the Court. The renders a temporary order that is binding until a judgment of divorce is granted. A Pendente Lite motion may address dissipation of assets, temporary support, custody and parenting time, discovery, and a myriad of other issues particular to the case.

Pendente Lite or temporary Orders can be modified prior to the final judgment of divorce if there is a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant a change in the Order. Once a court renders a decision is it expected to be honored by the parties. A party who is in violation of a court’s order may be held in violation of litigant’s rights and sanctioned. The moving party seeking a modification of support bears the burden of demonstrating changed circumstances.

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