Pendente Lite Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Pendente Lite, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Pendente Lite?

It is an order which is in effect awaiting the lawsyit.These are court orders which are in effect when the case is in trial , or rights which cannot be enforced until the lawsuit is over as in divorce cases for temporary child support.

History and Meaning of Pendente Lite

Pendente Lite is a Latin term that translates literally to "pending the litigation." In the legal world, pendente lite refers to court-ordered arrangements or directives that are put in place while a legal case is ongoing. These arrangements are temporary, as they only last until the case is resolved. Although most commonly used in family law cases, pendente lite orders may be issued in any form of civil litigation.

Pendente lite orders are issued to maintain the status quo or provide temporary relief to one party while awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit. These may include temporary child custody arrangements, spousal or child support, and other forms of financial support. Pendente lite orders can often be crucial in ensuring that one or both parties maintain financial stability during the litigation process.

Examples of Pendente Lite

  1. A divorce case is ongoing, and the wife requests a pendente lite order for temporary spousal support, as she has been financially dependent on her husband throughout the marriage and has no other means of support.

  2. During a patent dispute, the court may enter a pendente lite order that prevents either party from making further use of the disputed property while the case is pending.

  3. In a personal injury lawsuit, the court may issue a pendente lite order that requires the defendant to pay the plaintiff's medical expenses until the case is resolved.

Legal Terms Similar to Pendente Lite

  1. Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) - A civil order that may be issued in the early stages of a lawsuit to protect one party from harm caused by the actions of another party.

  2. Injunction - A court order that compels or prohibits a party from engaging in a particular action or conduct.

  3. Order to Show Cause - A legal request made by a party to a lawsuit to seek an interim or immediate order from the court.