SEEKING PROTECTIONS THROUGH TEMPORARY ORDERS BEFORE YOUR DIVORCE
The decision to divorce is unique for every family. Some couples come to a slow and mutual agreement, and others reach a volatile climax. You and your spouse may be among those in California who cannot wait for the divorce decree before obtaining important court rulings.
Knowing that it may be months before you settle things with your future ex, you may wonder how you will come to agreements about some critical issues in the meantime. If you feel that it will be too difficult to make fair decisions prior to your divorce hearings or negotiations, you may request temporary orders from family court.
What issues do temporary orders cover?
A judge usually hears cases for temporary orders within weeks or sooner after a divorcing spouse files a request. You may even request such orders before you officially file for divorce. The decisions made during a hearing for temporary orders are often those that you need to make quickly or that will help remove a tense or uncomfortable situation until you reach a permanent divorce settlement. For example, some questions couples need to resolve include:
- Who will remain in the family home and who will leave?
- Where will the children stay, and how will custody be shared?
- Will one parent pay child or spousal support during the separation, and how much?
- Who will maintain possession of the family vehicles?
- Who will cover any medical expenses above what insurance covers?
These are only a few examples of the kinds of issues you may want resolved quickly, at least in a temporary manner. The judge may also order that neither of you can sell marital assets that will later be subject to property division. You may also need to request a restraining order against your spouse if you fear he or she will not abide by the court’s decisions regarding possession of the home.
Give careful thought to your requests
Although the court’s decisions in a hearing for temporary orders are not meant to be part of your permanent divorce settlement, they are often part of the factors the court considers during a divorce. Hearings for temporary orders often go rather quickly with a judge making decisions without much debate or discussion. This is why it is critical that you know how you want to see the issues resolved temporarily since your temporary orders may influence your permanent ones. Your attorney can advocate for your best interests.