Possibly one of the scariest parts of the divorce process is in the very beginning, the unknown. This is the time when all things you know as “normal” are no longer normal and never will be the same again. It is also the time when you don’t have the details of the divorce settlement worked out and there are many, many unknowns such as living situations, child custody and visitation and financials just to name a few. I know this is a frightening time whether you want the divorce or not, but you should feel a bit a relief because the courts realize that certain things need immediate attention allowing for temporary orders to be put in place. Getting these temporary orders in place as soon as possible will help to ease some of your stress allowing you to take a deep breath and figure things out. Seeking legal counsel immediately is the best way to quickly file for and receive the temporary orders necessary for you. These transitory orders are used to settle matters such as housing, separate maintenance, or alimony, and sometimes allow a reasonable fee for the spouse’s attorney and expert witness fees.
Usually, the biggest and most pressing matter is the children. Regardless of the situation between you and the other parent, someone needs to make sure they get to school, eat regularly, baths, you know – all the basics that keep their lives stable. A judge will make a decision at the temporary hearing regarding custody and child support if it cannot be settled outside court.
Spousal support under a temporary order may be awarded 20% of the net take-home pay for his or her support in addition to child support. Keep in mind that the duty of support is not the sole obligation of one spouse, but allocated between the spouses according to their needs and ability to contribute.
In addition to the items included in the temporary orders, a temporary restraining order (TRO) may be granted if it appears from affidavit or verified complaint that irreparable harm will or might result, the court has the authority to issue this preliminary injunction to protect you. This can be done with or without notice to the opposing party. If it is to be issued without notice, you must be prepared to offer the courts an affidavit or verified complaint to state specific facts showing the harm that will result if the order is not given. It also requires that your attorney certify in writing why a notice should not be required. It is important to remember that every temporary restraining order issued without notice must expire no later than 14 days after entry. The only exception is if there is a good cause that it be extended. The extension must be filed before the fourteenth-day expiration.
There are times that these matters cannot be solved outside the courts. In that case, a temporary hearing must be scheduled. The good news is that they are usually short; therefore, are able to be scheduled within a short period of time. Yes, this is a temporary hearing, but they typically have a way of setting a pattern for the rest of the case. If it must go to a temporary hearing, remember that things you say cannot be un-said or un-heard, eliminating any possibility of a peaceful agreement between spouses.
When dealing with a divorce or any family law matters, it is always best to seek legal counsel. Kevin Hickey Law Partners will be here for you from the first filing until the divorce until the end when all matters are settled. Making the decision now will help you get temporary orders in place faster to ease some of the stress and burden from you during the divorce process. Call today for a consultation.