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Temporary orders bridge the gap until a divorce is finalized

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2023 | Family Law

Your spouse served you with divorce papers, but honestly, it was not a surprise. Your marriage was not doing well for a long time and perhaps a split is for the best. Still, what happens now?

Well, once you have contacted an attorney, one of the first steps you can take while your divorce is pending is to pursue temporary orders, sometimes referred to as a pendente lite motion.

Temporary orders in a divorce

You can seek a temporary order once the divorce papers are filed. A judge may issue the order upon motion by either spouse. The order lasts until the divorce is finalized. After that, the temporary order ceases to function and the divorce order takes its place.

Some examples of temporary orders in a divorce include:

  • Ordering a spouse to pay alimony
  • Ordering a spouse to provide the other spouse with health care coverage
  • Orders determining which spouse will be responsible for paying which bills
  • Child custody orders
  • Child support orders
  • Orders determining which spouse will live in the family home while the divorce is pending

Orders involving financial payments will be paid out of money earned after the date of separation. Courts might be able to deviate from presumptive amounts of child support and alimony if circumstances warrant such a change.

After the divorce

A temporary order lasts while the divorce is pending. The final divorce decree need not reflect the terms of the temporary order.  There is no presumption that the temporary order should form the basis of the final divorce decree.

Providing stability and security to spouses and children is the main purpose of a temporary order. The order ensures all parties are provided for financially. It divides responsibilities between parties. A temporary order also serves to help quell possible disputes, which could eventually be negotiated and resolved during the divorce proceedings.