Divorce Temporary Orders

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A divorce is a painful decision that can twist the life of the separating partners in many ways. Quarrels over trifling issues take the shape of serious conflicts and when the situation becomes uncontrollable, people take the refuge of laws. Spouses hire lawyers and file for their divorce cases. It is natural that when a divorce case is filed, couples are burdened with a lot of problems, emotional, financial and legal. For example there are a lot of questions regarding who will pay the marital debt, who will get the child custody, where will each partner live, etc. till the point the divorce is made final. Both parties need to go for divorce mediation and sometimes couples are unable to reach to a mutual agreement on these topics. Here arise the need of divorce temporary orders that are issued by the court. The court states some rules and guidelines regarding the issues faced by the spouses.

A divorce temporary order can be enforced only until one of the following happens-

  • The court concludes a trial and the final order is declared
  • The partners complete a separation agreement

The court conducts a hearing on 'a motion for temporary orders' during which a temporary order is entered.

The temporary orders encompass a number of problems. As the issues faced by every separating couple are different from the other, these orders also vary. The judge focuses on many issues like property, child custody, spousal support, grants temporary orders and the spouses have to abide by the guidelines. Some of the issues that are generally discussed in a temporary court order are as follows-

Issues discussed in Divorce Temporary Orders

Property related

  • Which partner is responsible for credit card debts
  • Which partner is responsible for the payments of which vehicle? Who would drive which vehicle
  • Who would disburse the utility bills
  • How the division of household items must be conducted
  • Which spouse is responsible for mortgage payments. Alternatively, will this payment be divided between the spouses
  • Which partner can continue as an occupant in the marital residence

Child related

  • Whether there is a necessity of a GAL (Guardian ad litem) for the children
  • Which spouse should be given the responsibility of continuation of health insurance of the children
  • What should be the visitation schedule of the non-custodial parent
  • Which parent should get child custody
  • What should be the amount of child support

Spousal Support

The temporary orders related to spousal support depend on the financial conditions of both parties. Generally the spouse with greater income may be ordered to provide financial support to his/ her partner, for example paying some bills or a certain amount of money. The temporary orders are made in an order so that both the spouses can live decently.

Divorce Temporary Orders known as Injunctions

There are instances when a divorce temporary order takes the form of an injunction. This is a court order that prevents an individual from any action that would possibly result in property loss, mental injury or property injury to the appealing party.

In some cases, one of the spouses manages considerable investments or handles a business. This spouse is in a gainful position to dissipate or hide assets. Particularly, in such cases, an injunction is very useful. Injunctions related to property can prohibit the transfer or sale of any property. Such temporary orders of divorce are also called as 'stays' or 'temporary restraining orders' or 'preliminary injunctions'.

Some injunctions are issued ex-parte. This means that a notice of these court orders is not given to the recipient. The background is that if a notice is given, the recipient gets a chance to dodge the intent of the injunction.

An injunction cannot be made arbitrarily by the court. It is compulsory that the mover must prove that there is an imminent threat of irreparable harm to him/her if the injunction is not made.

Role of the Court in Divorce Temporary Orders

  • A majority of courts direct the issue of the temporary orders to 'probation.' This is also known as family services
  • The motive of the probation is that the two partners should get a chance to agree on as many issues as possible. This results in saving of considerable time of the judge
  • The partners see the judge regarding those issues that are not resolved during probation. The partners present their arguments in front of the judge
  • In case the issue is time-sensitive, the judge immediately makes an order pertaining to it
  • The complete temporary order is usually made within 7 days after the hearing
  • Let us assume that during probation, the partners have reached a complete agreement regarding some issues. Then, the judge reviews these agreements. If satisfied, the judge enters these agreements in the temporary order

Common areas covered in the Temporary Orders

A basic idea of certain issues covered in temporary order are cited here-

  • Neither spouse can buy or borrow communal property
  • One spouse cannot use the credit of the other
  • No changes can be made in the insurance policies
  • The temporary order should include which spouse should live in the family home
  • No large purchases can be done by one spouse without serving prior written notice to the other spouse

If you want to avoid the Divorce temporary orders and like to settle issues that are mutually satisfying, you must hire an experienced and efficient lawyer. The lawyer must not create conflict of interests and make every attempt to make the case run smoothly without facing much hindrances. But when you are confused about the issues and can sense that problems will increase, you should discuss with your attorney and file for temporary orders.

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