How Temporary Divorce Relief Orders and Hearings Work?

A divorce process can get prolonged because couples disagree about property valuation & division, child support & alimony, and child custody & visitation. Therefore, initial hearing in family court usually is about temporary relief.

Temporary divorce relief motions cover issues like spousal support, parenting-time, and child support. This short-term solution facilitates the involved couples to agree on long-term plan regarding their divorce settlement.

Concept for short time allocation to relief hearings

Temporary relief hearings are of thirty minutes, only. Each spouse is given fifteen minutes to present evidence on why they need relief order. It is a short time for presenting evidence on issues like addressing amount to pay spouse’s attorney fees or determine alimony amount for child support, etc. Therefore, most crucial testimony and evidence need to be presented. The concept behind brief time for relief hearing is to determine crucial kids and financial issues, which need court interference.

It helps to stabilize the financial situation of family and ‘status quo’ gets preserved, while each partner prepares for their trial or final settlement case.

Temporary relief order makes sure that during a pending divorce –

  • Family is supported even when the breadwinning spouse leaves the house.
  • Wealthier spouse covers attorney fees of the other half not able to hire.
  • Which spouse should stay in the family home with children?
  • Prevent spouse from concealing or destroying assets [it ensures marital property gets fairly divided].
  • Spouse or kids get protection against domestic violence [abuse or harassment]

Why temporary relief hearings?

Temporary relief hearings help to set straight a spouse’s behaviour of cutting the other half family financially or play wicked games with kids on purpose to get leverage in early phase of divorce. The court is well-aware that several spouses go to extreme lengths, so as to push their spouse in dropping the divorce case or accept poor settlement.

In such kind of behaviour, judge issues an order to correct this situation by ordering financial support payment or pay other person’s attorney fees or establish temporary custody schedule or order one spouse to leave home.

‘Ex parte’ relief hearings

Under emergency conditions, the court grants ‘ex-parte’ relief hearings of the requesting spouse. Genuine emergency condition means there can be severe and irreparable harm done, if instant relief is not granted.

‘Ex-parte’ requesting spouse needs to show evidence that an emergency exists like constant abuse danger or intention of escape to another country with the kid. Court passes an injunction or restraining order for protection of the ‘Ex-parte’ requesting spouse and his/her kids.

The injunction is valid for a short-term, so as soon as the ‘Ex-parte’ orders expire the couples will need to appear before a judge to determine if the emergency has passed or the order needs to be continued.

Temporary property division

Some marital property is provided to one of the spouse on temporary basis. For example, if the couple has two cars then court awards one spouse a car for transportation convenience. However, the payment of the cars was done by a single spouse and it is in his/her name. Therefore, during final property division, the court will award both cars to the person, who owns the car and equally divide the remaining marital property.