How do temporary orders work and do they impact my finances?

If you have recently filed for divorce, one of the first things that could happen is the establishment of temporary orders. These orders can set the tone for the overall divorce settlement and parenting time agreements and are especially important and necessary if one spouse is not working or has less financial power. In this post, we outline what you need to know about temporary orders, especially as they relate to finances. 

Temporary Orders Defined

The purpose of temporary orders is to maintain the status quo of the marriage during the divorce process. The goal of temporary orders is to increase stability during a separation until permanent orders are established. This means that permanent orders can deviate from temporary orders that are outlined in a final divorce settlement. Because negotiations and settlement can take months, temporary orders outline rights, responsibilities, and expectations from both parties until the divorce is finalized.

Most often, temporary orders will mirror the situation prior to the filing of the divorce, in an effort to maintain a similar standard of living. This is especially the case if there is a large imbalance of financial power, such as one spouse being the primary financial provider and the other spouse working to take care of the children. Other times, temporary orders can be entered to establish new rules between the parties. These orders may address financial fairness, parenting time agreements in the best interest of the child, financial issues that are off course (such as overspending by one party), and financial needs not being addressed.

Temporary orders aren’t always filed or issued. Whether or not they are requested by your attorney depends upon how well the parties are working together during the divorce process to address the various needs of all family members.

Financial situations that can be addressed via temporary orders include:

Spousal Support
Insurance (medical, auto, etc)
Decision-making responsibilities
Child support
Parenting time
The use, possession, or sale of marital assets (such as cars, homes, investments, other personal property)
Spending and/or withdrawing funds from bank accounts
Expenses and how they will be paid
Attorney fees

Impact on Finances

Temporary orders will likely impact your finances and can make it psychologically easier to transition to permanent orders as financial standards and processes are beginning to form between you and your ex-spouse. Because you may pay or receive child or spousal support immediately through temporary orders, it is a good idea to speak with a professional regarding what those amounts may be depending on your situation.

Temporary orders also mean that you may need to put off planned purchases (especially more expressive ones, like buying a new car) due to temporary orders, or complete them before filing for divorce. By working with an attorney alongside an experienced Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), you can understand how temporary orders impact your overall financial goals. 

At A.M. Financial, we recommend starting the overall financial planning of your divorce early. When you engage professionals early in the divorce process, you are more likely to achieve the financial outcomes that align with your goals. We can help you understand what you might need to request in temporary orders based on your financial situation, and supplement the knowledge of your attorney throughout the divorce process. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services.