“Temporary Orders” in a divorce case are court orders which are in effect until the final decree is entered. They are temporary because they do not, and are not intended to deal with all the situations that will arise in the future. They are a short-term solution to keep things stable while the divorce is proceeding.
The “Final Decree” is a document that will be created when the divorce case is all finished and there has been a trial or an agreement of the parties which has been placed on paper, signed by the judge and filed with the court. This document should clearly split all property and debts between the parties and spell out visitation and support in full.
Temporary Orders always contain provisions for dealing with current bills, property access, visitation and support. Any and all of the “short-term”, day-to-day issues that will happen between the date of filing the divorce and the anticipated last official date of marriage can be found in Temporary Orders.
Divorcing spouses can sometimes become anxious about “missing provisions” in Temporary Orders. An example would be a large bill that is going to be due in 13 months, such as a balloon note, In a case that is expected to take 8 months to finish, this event is unlikely to happen prior to the end of the divorce, and may require much additional negotiation on the part of the spouses in order to decide how it will be handled. Therefore, it may not be found in the Temporary Orders paperwork even though both parties acknowledge that it must be dealt with.
If you are concerned about any “missing provisions” in your Temporary Orders, don’t lie awake at night worrying. Speak to your attorney and see whether your fears can be soothed, or whether your attorney needs to deal with the issue that is concerning you prior to the finalization of the divorce. Additional agreements can be reached between spouses about specific issues, and can be put into writing and filed with the court without the necessity of a hearing if there is an agreement.
One final note: Temporary Orders are temporary. This means that the provisions in the paperwork are not set in stone. Just because one spouse has full access to the home, or use of a vehicle in the temporary orders doesn’t mean that that person will be the ultimate owner of that piece of property.