Imputing Income to a Non-Working Spouse During the Pendente Lite Period: A Violation of the Status Quo or a Practical Step Toward the Reasonably Comparable Lifestyle?

November 2012Articles New Jersey Family Lawyer

A pendente lite support determination is considered one of the most critical a trial judge will render during a divorce proceeding. The outcome can have long-lasting impact on the court’s view of the case, the tenor of an ongoing matter and the prospects of settlement.

A notable component of the analysis ins the imputation of income to a non-working spouse, pendente lite. While often requested in opposition to a pendent elite motion, this request is frequently denied because the non-working spouses’ unemployed status is deemed part of the marital status quo requiring maintenance until the court performs a full investigation and final hearing.

Maintenance of the marital status quo, consideration of factors provided in the alimony statues and an analysis off the issue in conjunction with the current economy and calendar backlog in the family are all factors that must be taken into consideration during this ruling.