Temporary orders are orders entered during the divorce proceeding that govern the parties’ conduct during the pendency of the proceeding or until a superseding order is entered. Temporary orders are often entered within the first 60 days after the filing of the Petition for Dissolution. Temporary orders never take the place of permanent orders included in a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, unless the court makes an exception and orders the temporary orders to continue after the entry of the final decree. If the action involves minor children and both parties reside within the same county, mandatory mediation regarding issues of legal decision-making, as well as parenting time, is scheduled. Although it is not mandatory, judges prefer that mediation be completed before hearing any children’s issues addressed in mediation.
The parties may attempt to negotiate a solution to the various issues in the case before proceeding to a full hearing. Usually these negotiations take place through their attorneys, through four way settlement conferences including both attorneys and both parties, or through a Resolution Management Conference before the court. If these negotiations are not successful, the matter proceeds to an evidentiary hearing. Each party must exchange with the other a list of witnesses and exhibits. The witnesses may be interviewed by both sides in preparation for the hearing and the exhibits are thoroughly examined.
If the matter is not settled, the hearing is confirmed and the matter proceeds before the court on its merits. Exhibits are admitted into evidence and testimony is taken from both the parties and their witnesses. The Judge then decides the disputed issues within 60 days of the hearing date.
Typical issues which are often litigated in temporary orders hearings include legal decision-making, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, liquid asset divisions, debt divisions, possession of the former family home and recovery of court costs and attorney’s fees.
*The information in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.