When couples decide to divorce, there are a number of important issues that need to be addressed in real time, before the divorce is finalized. Either spouse can ask the court for temporary orders to establish custody and visitation rights, request alimony or child support payments, or even request to remain in the family home while the divorce proceeds – issues that are sometimes difficult to agree on when couples are at odds in a divorce.
Although some divorcing spouses are able to reach an agreement regarding how they will share expenses and parenting time, all too often, there is contention between the spouses which can leave one spouse at a disadvantage financially or otherwise. When one parent has custody of the children, it is important to obtain temporary orders for custody and support so that the children’s best interests are served. A spouse, particularly one who may have been a stay at home parent with no or limited income, can ask the court for temporary spousal support. If the home or the use of the car are points of contention, temporary orders can allocate use of the home or car, at least temporarily, to one spouse or order an arrangement that works in short term.
Temporary Order Process
After requesting temporary orders, a hearing will be held, sometimes within a few days depending on the circumstances, or as long as a few weeks after filing the request. Both parties to the divorce may attend. At the hearing a judge will listen to testimony and look over financial documents and will usually make an immediate ruling to issue temporary orders. Sometimes a subsequent hearing may take place if more information is needed, otherwise temporary orders typically remain in effect until the divorce is settled. Usually the initial hearing is relatively brief so it important to be prepared to get everything you need. An experienced attorney can help you obtain temporary orders to cover:
- Child custody arrangements including a visitation plan if one parent will have primary custody of the children
- Protective orders if domestic abuse is an issue ordering an abusive spouse to stay away from victims and family members
- Spousal maintenance/alimony for spouses with less income
- Child support based on a formula that takes both parents incomes, the number of children, and custody into account
- Grant one spouse temporary possession f other family home, the car or other possessions
- Require an employed spouse to continue to provide healthcare for the children
- Contribute to other expenses, such as attorneys’ fees, and debt
Temporary orders are just that, temporary arrangements to address critical issues until a divorce settlement is reached or the case goes to court. However, that being said, temporary arrangements that provide sole custody, for example, may influence custody decisions in the final ruling – after all what works well on a temporary basis might just as well work on a permanent basis. It is important for parents to assert their rights if temporary orders are requested.
When you have questions regarding temporary orders in a divorce or any family law matter, contact the Des Moines family law attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for immediate assistance 515-244-1473.