Temporary Orders are what a court puts in place while the divorce is going on. When someone files for divorce, usually someone moves out of the home if they haven’t already. Who has to move? What do they get to take? Where do the children go? Who pays for all the credit cards and auto insurance? These are all questions that need an immediate, but temporary solution. This is why most divorces need Temporary Orders.
Temporary Orders is like a mini-divorce. Both sides are given certain rights and obligations while the divorce is going on. These are often agreed to, but sometimes we cannot agree and there needs to be a contested hearing in front of a Judge. The Judge will hear testimony and will make decisions regarding the temporary custody and visitation schedule for the children, the temporary use of property, home and vehicles and will also make a temporary order for child support. This is not final and just because a Judge ruled a certain way for the temporary hearing that does not mean that is what will happen at a final hearing.
Temporary Orders are very important because your divorce may take a year or longer to finalize if it is contested. It is extremely important to have an experienced lawyer that knows how to prepare and conduct a hearing for temporary orders. Some people use this as the opportunity to sling mud at the other parent. Judge’s do not like this unless absolutely necessary and only if it is actually relevant. It is better to try to work out a temporary agreement if possible.
Temporary Orders are subject to change if circumstances have changed while the divorce is pending. I advise my clients to be on their best behavior while the divorce is pending. Do not go out partying when you should be with your children. Avoid large purchases if possible. It is also almost always better to wait until after the divorce before you start thinking about dating again. You should assume the other parent will be taking notes, saving texts and taking pictures of everything you do.