Temporary Court Orders in Divorce

There are many reasons why married couples ask for divorce, each of which can complicate the divorce process in its own way. However, regardless of the reason for a divorce, the entire divorce process can be tedious and may take a lot of time, lasting anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Thus, with so many issues to settle, many spouses seek to be granted a temporary court order to address specific and necessary issues in a timely manner. Temporary court orders are granted once the divorce has been filed and stay in effect until the court has made a final settlement agreement between both spouses.

A temporary court order is legally binding and should be followed by both spouses, otherwise they will be held in contempt of court and could face penalties and even jail time (all to the discernment of the presiding judge). These court orders have many functions, and among the many things they address are:

  • Child-related concerns – issues such as child support, how much should be paid, child custody and visitation schedule can lead to a temporary court order being issued.
  • Property issues – before the implementation of the temporary court order for divorce, both spouses are required to submit the list of their personal and marital properties. Afterwards, the judge determines which spouse will live in the marital home and who will pay the mortgage (or if both spouses should pay for it), among other property issues. Additionally, issues such as how household items, credit card debts, and car are divided are also covered.
  • Temporary spousal support – depending on the earnings of each spouse, the amount of spousal support can differ. The objective is to make sure both spouses can live in equal comfort until the final decision has been made. This can be through direct monthly payments or through utility bills.

Usually, temporary court orders for divorce are only necessary if the spouses have not decided on their own regarding these issues, but action needs to be taken quickly. Although it is advisable to get permanent agreements in place as soon as possible, these temporary ones provide necessary instructions and guidelines for spouses when undergoing a divorce.

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