Often times the first setting in a family law case will be a Temporary Orders Hearing. Temporary Orders will obtain present relief from the court. A temporary orders hearing is typically set three to four weeks filing date. At that hearing, the court can order various types of temporary relief for the parties while awaiting a final trial in the case.
Some of the more important issues that can the court will hear at a temporary orders hearing are those regarding the parties’ children. A court can make temporary decisions on custody, possession, child support, health care, and communication between parents at a temporary orders hearing. If a party is attempting to modify custody, then they will have to allege significant harm that jeopardizes the children’s safety and emotional welfare to obtain a change in custody at a temporary hearing. Otherwise, a party will need to wait until a final hearing to obtain such a modification.
The Court may hear issues regarding the parties’ property like the residence, bank accounts, and vehicles. Payment of expenses on these items as well as the payment of temporary spousal support and attorney’s fees can be decided. The court usually needs to have a general idea of the parties’ income and assets to make decisions on these issues, so coming up with a proper income and expense worksheet can be useful for the court.
The court can also consider extraordinary relief such as injunctions and restraining orders. These can include prohibitions on visitation with the children, causing harm to each of the parties, and access and use of funds. The parties will want to be mindful of the standing orders of the court that typically address many of the injunctive orders of the court in family law cases.
A temporary hearing is designed to get the parties down the road in a family law case while they wait for a final resolution to their case. The Judge may a lot as little as 20 minutes for each side to present their evidence. It is important to get the key pieces of information before the Judge for proper consideration. With some preparation, the temporary orders hearing can be a key step in your case that will guide the direction of the rest of your case.