Pendente Lite is Latin for pending the litigation, that is during the trial. It is another way of saying temporary. It may be awarded retroactively to the date of filing the complaint. So it would run from that date until the trial. At the trial the court will make a determination about rehabilatative or indefinite alimony.


The purpose of pendente lite alimony is to maintain the status quo of the parties so a spouse will not suffer financial hardship pending final resolution of the divorce proceedings. Maryland Code, Family Law Article 11-102(a).

Needs and Ability to Pay.

Generally, temporary alimony is based primarily on consderations of the reasonable needs of the recipient spouse, balanced against the other spouse’s ability to pay. Maynard v. Maynard, 42 Md. App. 47, 399 A.2d 900 (1979).

But Lifestyle Counts.

The parties’ standard of living or lavish lifestyle is a consideration in determining the status quo and prevention of financial hardship. James v. James, 96 Md. App. 439, 625 A.2d 381 (1993).

If petitioner’s lack of financial recourses prevented her from maintaining any semblance of her previous lifestyle, then her situation at time of separation would not be considered “status quo“. Guarino v. Guarino, 112 Md. App. 1, 684 A.2d 23 (1996).