Getting divorced can take up to a year or more. You can ask for temporary orders if you need a decision from the Judge about what happens in the meantime.
Getting divorced can sometimes take year or more. At the end, you will have a final divorce decree that defines what happens when the divorce is done.
You may need to ask for something right away, rather than waiting until your divorce is final. For example:
- Where your children will live
- You may need financial support from your spouse
- You may need to figure out who stays in your home or pays bills
You can ask the Court for an immediate decision by requesting temporary orders. Requesting temporary orders is optional.
How to ask for Temporary Orders
The forms you need to fill out to ask for Temporary Orders are part of this site's Divorce Form Assistants. See Filing for Divorce with Children or Filing for Divorce without Children for those forms.
If you think your spouse might disagree with your Temporary Orders, it can be very helpful to get a lawyer.
You can also find information about Temporary Orders in the Local Rules of Court (Rule 4.14 and 4.15).
After your forms are filed, your spouse will get 14 days to either agree or disagree with your Temporary Orders. If your spouse doesn't respond in that time, the Court may issue the Temporary Orders that it approves without a hearing. If your spouse requests different Temporary Orders, the Court will schedule a hearing to help make a decision about the Temporary Orders. This hearing is usually held about 4 to 6 weeks after you file the paperwork. You must attend the hearing to finalize the Temporary Orders.
A hearing is the only place that the Judge or Magistrate assigned to your case can talk about the case with you or your spouse.
The Temporary Orders are in place for as long as it takes to complete the divorce process. When you are officially divorced, the Judge’s Final Orders will take the place of the Temporary Orders.
Note: Temporary Orders are different from a Temporary Restraining Order. If you need to request a Temporary Restraining Order (because of abuse, harassment or other reasons), go to the Local Rules of Court (Rule 4.17) for more information.