When you file for or are served with a divorce, it can immediately impact your daily life, including your living situation. Once your case begins, you and your ex may decide that you no longer want to live together. While living apart during divorce can provide each person with the physical space they need, it can also raise certain practical issues that will need to be addressed. Having temporary orders in place while your divorce case is pending can help clarify each person’s responsibilities and minimize conflict. The good news is that it’s possible to get temporary orders during your divorce. However, temporary order issues can be just as complex as those raised during divorce. Therefore, it’s important to understand temporary orders and how they may operate during your California divorce case.
What do Temporary Orders Cover During Divorce?
Going through a divorce usually involves having to make several decisions. Depending on your circumstances, some of these choices could be fairly straightforward, while others may be more involved. In either case, you will need to carefully consider your options as you navigate the different phases of your divorce. While your case is pending, you and your ex may need rules that set out how certain expenses will be paid and, if you have kids, how you will manage custody, visitation, and support. You can ask that the divorce court issue temporary orders that cover these and any other issues that are specific to your situation.
How do I File for Temporary Orders?
Either party can request that temporary orders be issued during the case. Often the request is made when the case begins, but temporary order requests don’t have to be made when the case is initiated. When there is a request for temporary support, the filing spouse will have to submit information regarding their income and expenses. When temporary orders are requested, one party files and serves the request on the other. Then, the non-filing party has a specific amount of time to respond. The other party can also file their own request for temporary orders. If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be set for hearing.
Why do Temporary Orders Matter?
At first glance, agreeing on or having a court rule on temporary orders may seem like a less important step during the divorce process. However, it’s crucial that you treat this part of your divorce with the same reverence as your final orders. This is because, in some instances, what is determined for purposes of establishing temporary orders can set the tone for the entire case.
Creating temporary orders gives the divorce court its first in-depth look at you, your ex, and the details of your divorce. If you have a temporary orders hearing, the court could be reviewing evidence and hearing arguments about some of the issues that will ultimately have to be decided. For instance, the court will consider details regarding your children and their well-being throughout your divorce. If there is evidence presented during your temporary orders hearing that your ex’s conduct is negatively impacting your kids, the court can consider this information when deciding on legal and physical custody terms.
Temporary orders can also be established by an agreement between the parties. If you and your ex agree on temporary orders, there is a chance that some of your agreed terms could end up being the same ones you are bound by when the divorce becomes final. If, for example, you and your ex have been following a certain temporary visitation schedule with your kids, the court may question if there is a reason to disrupt the schedule later on. Likewise, if you have been receiving agreed temporary spousal support, the court may consider this fact when deciding about the necessity of a long-term order.
Practical Aspects of Temporary Orders
On a practical level, temporary orders can provide the structure needed for both parties to continue managing multiple areas of their daily lives while their divorce is pending. If you are the party remaining in the home, your temporary orders can help establish how you will pay your mortgage, household bills, and maintenance costs. If you need funds to support yourself, a temporary order for spousal maintenance can help address this need. When minor children are involved, temporary orders can help parents maintain consistent contact with their kids and ensure that they have the necessary resources for their support.
Temporary orders can be an important part of a divorce, and it’s crucial that you work with an experienced California divorce attorney to determine if they will be needed in your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced California divorce attorneys who can help you during all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website.