Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–911. Pendente lite relief.

(a) During the pendency of an action for legal separation, divorce, the termination of a domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e), where one of the domestic partners has filed a petition for relief available under this section, or an action by a spouse to declare the marriage null and void, where the nullity is denied by the other spouse, the court may:

(1) require the spouse or domestic partner to pay pendente lite alimony to the other spouse or domestic partner; require one party to pay pendente lite child support, including health insurance coverage, cash medical support, or both, for his or her minor children committed to another party’s care; and require the spouse or domestic partner to pay suit money, including counsel fees, to enable such other spouse to conduct the case. The Court may enforce any such order by attachment, garnishment, or imprisonment for disobedience, and all support orders shall be enforceable by withholding as provided in § 46-207 and § 46-251.07. In determining pendente lite alimony for a spouse or domestic partner, the Court shall consider the factors set forth in § 16-913(d) and may make an award of pendente lite alimony retroactive to the date of the filing of the pleading that requests alimony.

(2) enjoin any disposition of a spouse’s or domestic partner’s property to avoid the collection of the allowances so required;

(3) if a spouse or domestic partner fails or refuses to pay the alimony or suit money, sequestrate his or her property and apply the income thereof to such objects;

(4) if a party under court order to make payments under this section is in arrears, order the party to make an assignment of part of his or her salary, wages, earnings or other income to the person entitled to receive the payments; and

(5) determine, in accordance with section 16-914, the care and custody of a minor child or children pending final determination of those issues.

(a-1) Repealed.

(a-2) Repealed.

(b) The attachment, garnishment, or assignment under paragraphs (1) and (4) of subsection (a) is binding on the employer, trustee, or other payor of salary, wages, earnings, or other income. No employer shall discharge or otherwise discipline an employee because of such attachment, garnishment, or assignment.

(c) The court may order, at any time, that maintenance or support payments be made to the Collection and Disbursement Unit, as defined in section 46-201(2A) [now § 46-201(3)], for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments, and shall order that such payments be made to the Collection and Disbursement Unit when the Collection and Disbursement Unit is responsible for collecting and disbursing these payments under section 46-202.01.

(d) The Court may order any other appropriate pendente lite relief.