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Temporary Orders During Divorce Proceedings

Divorce proceedings can take a long time to resolve. In the meantime, you can use temporary orders to establish some rules that both spouses will follow. Both you and your spouse can file temporary orders, which are effective during the divorce proceedings, until your divorce is officially granted. You can ask a court to temporarily: restrain a spouse from coming near you or contacting you (a temporary restraining order), or move out of the family home. Temporary orders can also be used to establish child custody and visitation agreements, provide alimony & child support payments, prohibit the sale or transfer of property, and award temporary possession of the family home or car.

To request a temporary order, you will need to file a motion and attend a hearing. At your hearing, a judge will decide whether to grant the temporary order is issued, and what conditions are involved. Once granted, temporary orders are usually valid until the court holds another hearing, or until both spouses arrive at their own settlement through negotiation or mediation. To ask for a temporary order, you will need several items.

First, you’ll need a request for the court order you want. Usually, the forms you need are called an Application for Order to Show Cause, and an Order to Show Cause. An Order to Show Cause is a simple, fill-in-the-box legal form that states what you are asking for (i.e. temporary child support). This form orders your spouse to come to court on a specific day and time to explain why the court should not grant your request.

Second, you will generally need supporting documentation. This is a written statement describing the facts that legally justify the temporary order. You will sign this under penalty of perjury. You can also include statements from witnesses, and other people who have first-hand knowledge of the facts involved. You will also need a proposed temporary order to submit to the court. This order will be signed by the judge if he grants your request. Finally, you will need proof of service. This is a document that proves to the court that papers have been properly delivered (“served”) to your spouse.

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