When couples decide to separate and eventually to divorce the formal process can take several months or even years to decide on several issues such as custody of the children and division of property. Many issues such as spousal support, custody of the children and possession of some property such as the family car cannot wait for the many months or years in which the divorce will be finalized. Temporary orders serve to address these issues long before the legal separation or divorce processes begin.
The temporary orders are made in family courts soon during the hearing when couples separate. Some states in the United States allow one of the spouses to request for temporary orders even before the separation documents are filed after which the hearing is scheduled to happen in some days or a few weeks. The issues which need to be deliberated on and temporary orders issued on each of them to take effect until the formal divorce hearings are finalized or until that point when the parties have negotiated or agreed through any other legally acceptable means on how to settle contentious issues. Although they are issues to take care of some issues before the divorce is finalized, the decisions made for the temporary orders are in many cases taken into consideration when the final decision is being made.
Temporary order hearings are less formal than the formal family court hearings and each party should be decided on what they want before the hearing. The hearing often proceeds quickly without either party having plenty of time to tell the court what they want or great emphasis being put into the justifications for the decisions to be made. The following are some of the decisions made for temporary order hearings:
- Child support
- Possession of the family marital home
- Possession of the family car
- Health insurance
- Spousal support
- Child custody and other related issues such as visitation schedules
- Restraining orders on either spouse coming near the other
- Restraining orders on either of the spouses selling family possessions
- Medical support
Although these decisions touch on critical issues it is important to note that they are temporary. The intention of the temporary order hearings is to maintain the security of the family members, their welfare, and their property. In light of these, some couples agree on their own how to take care of the contentious issues without the influence of the court and all they need to do is to notify their lawyers on the decisions they have made so that their decisions can remaining binding in a court of law and to help in the formal divorce hearings later.
The importance of having temporary orders issued by a court is critical because many couples facing separation cannot agree on many issues. For instance, it one is maintaining custody of the children it is important that the agreement for such custody be issued or filed with the court so that the other spouse does not abuse any loopholes therein and accuse their partner of kidnapping. The criminal justice system takes kidnapping cases very seriously and they could take the other partner more seriously thereby jeopardizing your chances of legal custody.
In order to request a temporary orders hearing you need to enlist the help of a family lawyer who will guide you in filling forms and all the necessary paperwork as well as representation in court.