Posted by Andrei J. Kublan
Since contested divorce cases can take approximately a year (and in certain cases even longer) to be fully adjudicated in court, each party to the litigation has a right to request certain temporary relief from the court while their case is pending in court. As a party to a divorce litigation, you can request, among other things, the court to order your spouse to provide the following pendente lite (i.e., temporary) relief: (a) spousal support, (b) provision of health insurance coverage, (c) payment of certain marital debts, (d) advancement of attorney’s fees to enable you to continue with litigation, (e) determination of child custody*, (f) child support, and (g) exclusive possession of the marital home. See Va. Code Section 20-103.
In the Fairfax County Circuit Court, in order to obtain this temporary relief, you would need to file a motion (essentially a request) with the Court and schedule it to be head on a Friday at 11:30 a.m. during the Domestic Relations Docket. Provided you properly accomplished the above two tasks, you will now need to prepare for the pendente lite hearing, which normally cannot exceed 30 minutes and must be in accordance with the following strict procedural requirements: