Temporary Orders - Divorceby Ponichtera & DeNardis, P.C. on 02/08/11
The Court is empowered to enter temporary orders after a Complaint for Divorce is filed, upon the filing of a formal request known as "a Motion" with the Court. Temporary Orders are by their very nature - temporary. They are intended to last until further orders are entered or until a judgment of divorce is issued on a case. Issues addressed by a Court through Temporary Orders are issues that typically cannot wait until later. Common temporary orders will address important issues like: child support, custody, visitation, continuation of health insurance coverage, temporary spousal support and orders for protection from abuse. Vacate orders or an order compelling one spouse to leave the marital home are also the subject of temporary orders. Once the divorce is final, temporary orders are typically no longer valid, and the Court will issue new orders at the time of the divorce, either by the agreement of the involved parties or after a trial. Some temporary orders like an order for protection from abuse, will expire on their own terms by the expiration date of the order, unless extended.
Temporary Orders are very important since they often set the tone for the future progression of the case. Judge's are often reluctant to dramatically alter temporary orders until a trial on the merits of the case. Typically Temporary Orders are issued after the oral presentation in Court of attorneys or the parties, if unrepresented. The judge often makes a judgment call on who they believe at the time, or who makes the best presentation. It is very important to be prepared at the time of the Court hearing. With crowded case dockets, the judge may only have a few minutes to hear your case. This is no time to "wing it", and hope for the best. The decisions the Court makes at the Temporary Orders hearing often last for many months or even years in some cases. I cannot repeat enough how important it is to be prepared for your Temporary Orders hearing.
If money is involved, each party will have to prepare a financial statement. You should work on this document carefully - before you get into court. Use a calculator, refer to your paycheck stub, and your W-2. If you don't believe your spouse will be truthful in their financial statement, now is the time to subpoena their employer to find out their true wages. If you have last year's taxes bring them to Court as well. The more help you can provide the Court, the more informed the judge will be to render an appropriate decision.
Remember to consult with an attorney to get answers to your questions about temporary orders. If you already went to Court for Temporary Orders and you are dissatisfied with what happened, don't give up, an attorney may be able to help you change them.