Many people are confused when it comes to ‘temporary orders’ and ‘permanent orders’. When a Divorce is filed, the parties may need or want ‘temporary orders’ while the Divorce proceeds through the court. A Divorce may take more than a year to get to the trial phase (if the parties are not in agreement) so ‘temporary orders’ for child support, child custody as well as spousal support etc. may be necessary.

The way to get these ‘temporary orders’ is to file a Request for Order with the court and serve the other party. Sometimes this is done with the Divorce paperwork and then both are served. If this occurs, the respondent may need to respond to one or both filings.

Often, when one party is served, he/she does not go through the paperwork carefully enough and as a result may not notice that a petition for Divorce was filed along with a Request for Order. Failure to respond in a timely fashion (within 30 days) may mean that a ‘default’ will be entered and/or that a temporary order will be made.

It’s best to consult with a Divorce Attorney to determine if a response to the Divorce is necessary. If the parties had a short marriage (under 5 years), did not have children or property and are cooperative, a ‘response’ may not be necessary. Likewise, a ‘response’ may not be needed if the parties are in agreement regarding their issues and have a Marital Settlement Agreement prepared.  However, a ‘response’ is always needed to a Request for Order. It should be noted that a Request for Order is usually not filed when the parties are cooperative and agree on their issues.

When the parties are in a contested Divorce (no agreement on issues) and ‘temporary orders’ are in place, these orders may become permanent at the trial phase. The purpose of the trial is to address all the issues so that the Divorce can be finalized.

Legal Action Workshop has been helping people with temporary and permanent orders for over 35 years! If you have questions, call 1-800-HELP-444 or visit our website for more information.

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