What Happens at a Temporary Orders Hearing?

When couples divorce, there are several immediate, pressing issues that need to be resolved. For example, who will move out of the house? When can the divorcing spouses spend time with their children? Who decides in case of health care emergencies? Is one of the spouses entitled to child support? Is one of the spouses entitled to payments from the other spouse, also known as spousal support? When emotions fly high as they often do early on when a family breaks apart, there is often a need for an objective, neutral judge to decide all fundamental issues that result from the dissolution of the household. Typically, such decision-making takes place at the so-called Temporary Orders Hearing.

The Temporary Orders Hearing can be requested by either spouse. It will be scheduled when one party, through its attorney, files a motion asking the court to have a hearing with the view that doing so will resolve certain basic disputes between the spouses. Once a temporary order has been requested, a hearing date will be set by the Court. In emergencies, the hearing could be set within a few days, or even within hours. However, most hearings are scheduled for a date within a few weeks of filing. The hearing itself is usually more informal than a trial; nonetheless, it is still in front of a judge and all parties and witnesses testifying do so under oath.

The judge will usually hear husband and wife speak to present their case. Although each case is different, generally, testimony and evidence will center around the following five topics:


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