Temporary Divorce Orders
The first step in a divorce after finding a good attorney to handle your case is to have that attorney file temporary divorce orders. These act essentially as temporary divorce decrees. Temporary orders consist of legally binding guidelines that both you and your spouse must adhere to until the final divorce decree is ruled in a court. At this time, the temporary orders expire.
If one party has concerns about things that may take place between first filing for divorce and when the divorce is finalized, they should document their concerns with their attorney. Once this is accomplished, it should be presented to the spouse and his or her attorney and discussed until all items can be agreed upon. At this time, the temporary orders can be presented to a judge at a hearing and made official. Here are some items commonly included in temporary divorce orders.
1. An agreement that neither spouse will use the credit of the other.
2. A stipulation that no large purchases can be made without giving advance written notice to the other party.
3. Community property cannot be sold or borrowed against by either party.
4. All insurance policies must be maintained with no changes.
5. A visitation schedule should be included for the person who does not have custody of the children. Children cannot be taken out of the county without written consent from the other party.
6. No changes to retirement plans can be made with the consent of the spouse.
7. If there are children, one named spouse must pay a specified amount of child support each month. Childcare and health care will be shared.
8. The order should specify which party will live in the family home.
Often, a temporary restraining order may also be filed in order to preserve what is considered community property or the “marital estate.” Unfortunately, there are cases when protective orders may be required in the case of spousal abuse or other family violence.
Temporary divorce orders may sometimes include an investigation by a social worker to study the conditions of the children and the home of the party who is filing for main custody. If the children’s custody is being contested, the temporary orders may also call for a mental health professional to help determine what is in the children’s best interest.