If you’re getting a divorce in Florida, reaching a divorce settlement can take months or even years—especially if it makes it all the way to the courtroom. So what if you cannot wait that long to have a judge determine who gets the kids and/or how much money you need for support.
Fortunately, you can obtain a temporary order from a judge. Once the request is made, a hearing will be scheduled within days or weeks and a judge will make a decision, either at the hearing or shortly afterward. Temporary orders are valid until the next court hearing or the spouses agree on a settlement through negotiation or mediation.
Temporary orders in divorce cases can do the following:
- Establish child custody and visitation arrangements
- Provide for alimony and/or child support payments
- Give possession of the family home or car to one spouse
- Order either spouse not to sell assets of value
Like the name implies, these orders are designed to last only for a specific period of time—often until the divorce is finalized. However, these orders can still be modified by the court, which requires a document which informs the court why the temporary order is no longer appropriate.
In all hearings for temporary relief, the party requested the specific order is responsible for showing the court that circumstances exist justifying the order. This if typically proven by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e. demonstrate that it is more likely than not that circumstances exists justifying the request for relief). This is often in the form of a supporting declaration, which is a written statement which details the facts that legally justify the issuance of the temporary order.
Furthermore, there are certain situations when you may ask the court to grant “ex parte”—or emergency—relief. This means the court will hear and consider your request for temporary relief without the presence of the other spouse. This type of relief is generally granted in situations where a genuine emergency exists, such as continued abuse to the requesting spouse or the children, and there will be serious and irreparable harm if not granted immediate relief.