A final divorce decree often triggers the distribution of marital assets and may initiate child support or spousal support payments. If the family home is on the market, it might be months before the sale is final and the money is in the bank. Meanwhile, the lower-earning or non-working spouse will need to survive until then.
Temporary court orders address this problem by working out reasonable custody and financial arrangements that begin while the divorce is still in process. In some cases, these temporary orders may also include a restraining order.
Temporary orders hearing
The court or either of the spouses can request a hearing for temporary orders. These orders establish issues such as who will remain in the family home and which spouse will be responsible for paying bills while the divorce process is ongoing. A temporary order may also prevent the parties from making unnecessary purchases or selling assets. These orders will remain in effect until the judge signs a final divorce decree.
Temporary orders set ground rules for preserving marital property during the divorce process to prevent either spouse from taking actions that could damage the other financially. Some examples of this include:
- Accessing safe deposit boxes
- Destruction of property
- Changing beneficiary designations
- Canceling credit cards or changing their limits
- Canceling utilities or other services
In some cases, a temporary order may restrict contact between the spouses if the court decides that could injure either party.
The divorce process can be relatively quick and simple in some cases, but more often than not, there are many issues on which the parties disagree. During this emotionally charged period, temporary orders can help protect both parties.