What is a PL?
Divorce is a new and foreign subject to most people. Attorneys are keen to throw around unfamiliar terms like “Pendente Lite,” “Ex Parte,” “QDRO,” and “Guardian Ad Litem.” All of these terms may be important to know, but one of the most pressing terms to understand is “pendente lite” abbreviated “PL”.
It is common for attorneys to request pendente lite relief when a divorce has been initiated. These are basically temporary orders that are intended by one or both parties to maintain the status quo or switch the current scenario to one the litigant feels is more advantageous to themselves or their children. This can also be very useful as a method to spell out the "ground rules" while the divorce and custody/visitation action is pending. Issues such as child custody, support, and visitation are often addressed in these temporary orders. Other things which can also be included are temporary alimony, who will reside in the family residence, and how the bills will be paid until the divorce is finalized.
In Maryland, a PL Order will be created generally at your first mediation session through consent or it can be a litigated matter between the parties with witness testimony and exhibits intended to persuade the judge. Make sure to speak with your attorney to determine and define your specific goals for the PL order. The PL Worksheet provided by the Law Office of Michael Golburgh is designed to ensure that you have the foundation to approach the mediation and PL process with greater insight.
While a negotiated PL Order is a compromise between the parties that is not intended to be permanent, as with everything in family law, the court favors stability when dealing with children and custody. What you agree to in mediation or a PL Order may therefore turn out to be the foundation of your long-term custody arrangement. Indeed, if it ends up working out well for the child at issue, it becomes less likely that the court will order a drastic change in the custody/visitation schedule unless there is a demonstrated need for that change.