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Temporary Orders: what are they and why might I need them?

What are Temporary Orders?

When you are going through a divorce or child custody case, if no orders or agreements are in place regarding issues like parenting time, sharing of expenses, and temporary child or spousal support, it may become necessary for you to request a temporary orders hearing from the court. Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-108 permits a party to request Temporary Orders “in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, the allocation of parental responsibilities, or declaration of invalidity of marriage or a proceeding for disposition of property, maintenance, or support.”

Temporary orders are orders that last until your case has been fully resolved by either reaching an agreement or until you have gone to a permanent orders hearing and the Court has issued orders regarding all outstanding issues. The purpose of Temporary Orders is, generally, to maintain the status quo regarding financial matters and to make sure that children have the opportunity to see both of their parents. In other words, the court wants to make sure that everyone has a roof over their heads, food on the table, and that the child(ren)’s best interests are being served.

Why might I need Temporary Orders?

Temporary orders become necessary when parties cannot agree or communicate regarding important issues like a temporary parenting schedule, who is responsible to pay for certain expenses, and whether temporary maintenance or child support should be paid by either party. Temporary orders may also encompass who is responsible for paying certain professional fees associated with your family law case, including attorneys’ fees.

Oftentimes, the beginning of your divorce or custody case is the point at which emotions and tension are at their highest. This can be a very confusing time as you and your former partner or co-parent begin to navigate the process of separating your lives. People often reach out to family law attorneys at this point for one or more of the following reasons:

1) They have not seen their child(ren) since separating from the other parent.
2) They don’t know whether they should let the other parent see the child(ren) or how often.
3) Expenses are going unpaid or needs unmet and there is an urgent need to address these concerns.
4) The other party is making what seem like unreasonable demands.

If these matters cannot be resolved by reaching agreements with the assistance of your attorney, and if the issues are urgent, you will likely need to request a Temporary Orders hearing. Depending on which Judge you are in front of, you may be required to attend mediation before going to a hearing.

Avoiding Temporary Orders

You can avoid the need for Temporary Orders by reaching agreements that ensure that everyone’s financial needs are being met and regarding temporary parenting time. It is always best to have your family law attorney reduce any temporary agreements to writing and file them with the Court, so that you can enforce them if necessary.

At Gebhardt, Emerson, & Moodie Family Law, our seasoned family law attorneys are prepared to advocate for you and make sure that your family’s immediate needs are being met. Please call our office at (303) 317-3239 to schedule your free consultation.

Authored by: Ashley G. Emerson, Esq., Partner