Even when you and your partner are in agreement that your marriage or relationship is over, sorting out the details of how the two of you will go your separate ways can take some time. This is especially true if there are valuable or substantial assets to divide or children of the relationship for whom a parenting plan needs to be developed. In some cases, there may be a situation that threatens your safety, the safety of your children, or the integrity of marital property. Because of these and other situations, courts will routinely enter temporary orders to control the situation until more permanent orders can be entered.
What Are Temporary Orders?
Like the name implies, temporary orders are orders of the court that are meant to remain in force for a limited amount of time. Temporary orders may only last a few weeks, or they can last for months if the parties are having difficulties in reaching a resolution to their issues. Temporary orders may cover issues and situations such as:
- Limiting or prohibiting contact between the parties or one party and the children of the relationship
- Directing one party to pay another child support or spousal support
- Awarding possession and use of property such as a home or vehicle to one party or the other
- Setting up a temporary parenting plan
Although these orders are “temporary” and, by design, of a limited duration, they are still orders of the court that can be enforced. If one party violates a temporary parenting plan, for example, such a violation can still be punished through the court’s contempt powers. What is more, a party’s obedience or disobedience to temporary orders may impact the final orders the court decides to set.
Who Sets Temporary Orders and How Temporary Orders are Modified
Typically, the party who files for divorce first has the first opportunity to request the court enter temporary orders. If there is an emergency situation, a party may request ex parte temporary orders (these are temporary orders of an extremely limited duration, entered without giving the parties a chance to be heard in court). Otherwise, when a request for temporary orders is made the court will usually schedule a hearing and allow both parties an opportunity to present evidence and discuss the proposed temporary orders.
In most cases, temporary orders are entered without the court knowing all of the facts of the divorce, separation, or child custody dispute. As a case progresses and more facts come to light, a court may review and revise its temporary orders. A party who believes that there has been a material change in the facts can file a motion and ask the court to modify its previous orders. For example, if a child is residing with one parent and begins to experience behavioral problems or issues at school because the child doesn’t see the other parent enough, a court may modify the parenting plan and allow more visitation between the child and the other parent.
Know What to Ask for in Requesting Temporary Orders
Temporary orders can have a significant impact on your life and the well-being of your children, even if they are subject to change. If you intend to file for divorce or separate from the other parent of your child, get experienced help in seeking appropriate temporary orders that will protect your interests. Enlist the help of Columbus family law firm Dawes Legal, LLC, to assist you in attempting to secure temporary orders from the court that will help you move forward in a positive direction. Contact Dawes Legal, LLC to learn more by calling (614) 733-9999.