Question: Why Are Temporary Court Orders Issued During a Divorce?
Emotions play the biggest role when making a decision to divorce. People fall out of love, they grow apart, someone has an affair, or they are the victims of abuse. Most of the issues that lead to divorce are emotionally driven issues. Once the decision to divorce is made it is necessary to think about the financial and legal aspects of what comes next.
That is when questions like where will I live until the divorce is final, will I get child support, or who will pay the mortgage. There are many issues to decide in a divorce case and it can take from several months to, at times several years to work out all those issues. A temporary court order is used to keep the status quo from the time the divorce is filed until a final divorce settlement agreement is negotiated.
Below is a list of issues that can be addressed with a temporary court order:
Child Related Issues:
- How much child support will be paid.
- Who gets custody of the children.
- A visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent.
- Who is responsible for carrying health insurance on the children.
- Whether or not a guardian ad litem is needed for the children.
Property Related Issues:
Before the hearing for temporary orders, each party to the divorce makes a list of their monthly income and expenses. Based on that list the court can decide the following issues:
- Which spouse will be able to live in the marital home.
- Which spouse will pay the mortgage or whether the payment will be split between the spouses.
- How household items will be split.
- Who will be responsible for paying utility bills.
- Who will drive which vehicle, who will pay for which vehicle.
- Who will be responsible for credit card debts.
Temporary Spousal Support:
Spousal support can be handled in many ways in a temporary order. The spouse with the greater income could be ordered to pay a specific amount each month. The courts might also order the mortgage payment paid in lieu of spousal support. The main objective is that both spouses be able to live equally and comfortably until the divorce is final. To make that happen spousal support will take the form of either a direct monthly payment or payment toward certain bills.
Temporary court orders are only a necessity of a couple is unable to negotiation a temporary agreement on their own. Your attorney should encourage you to try to come to an agreement with your spouse. Being able to negotiate these issues with your spouse and come to agreement will keep down attorney fees and court costs.
Since there are divorce attorneys out there who are only concerned with padding their bank account be careful. You should probably consider getting a new attorney if the one you have doesn’t encourage you to communicate and negotiate with your spouse. You want an attorney who will help the divorce process run smoothly, not one who hinders the process by discouraging civility.