Even the fastest divorce proceeding can take months, and sometimes the parties cannot wait that long for enforceable court orders concerning property division, child custody, child support, spousal support and other issues. If there are abuse allegations, they must be dealt with accordingly as well. In addition to these functions, temporary orders can also establish standards of behavior for both the spouses, so everyone knows what is expected.
When the petition is filed a hearing is set by the Court. Service of process can sometimes be an issue, since the nonfiling spouse usually is entitled to at least three days’ notice prior to the hearing. In the interim a Temporary Restraining Order can be put in place to try to keep the status quo until the Temporary Orders hearing occurs. These orders can prevent the nonfiling spouse from harassing you at home or work, taking the children out of school or daycare, and anything else to maintain the household. In some cases, you may even be able to get a kickout order excluding the nonfiling spouse from the marital residence, although most judges will require a hearing in such instances. Ex parte orders are typically effective for 14 days, or until a hearing can be held.
Temporary orders usually contain approximately the same provisions as the final order, but the orders expire when the final decree is entered or if the divorce is dismissed. Typical provisions include:
The orders may also contain provisions about property division which instruct the spouses not to conceal or destroy community property during the divorce proceeding. Other common orders include behavioral rules about stalking, harassment, and disparaging comments about the other spouse.
Temporary orders are necessary in most cases, because they set the ground rules for the remainder of the proceeding.