Temporary orders are either agreed or created by a judge after a hearing. In addition to the standing orders, temporary orders are the rules for the parties during the pendency of the divorce or custody case. They usually include financial guidelines and orders regarding possession and access to the children (visitation).
Most but not all family law cases have some sort of temporary orders. Temporary orders set clear guidelines regarding spending, support and visitation. Without temporary orders one or both parties may claim they were unclear on issues and may create unnecessary issues in the divorce or custody case. Also, temporary orders reinforce the standing order that protects the estate. Temporary orders also define when the children are with each parent, and the conditions of the exchange.
Temporary orders may be as simple as having the two attorneys in the case discuss the issues (with input from their clients) and they make an agreement on the issues. If agreement is not possible, a hearing before a judge or a mediation for temporary orders may be necessary. Depending on the issues in the case, the hearing may be short or over several days. Witnesses may be called to testify. At the conclusion of the hearing the judge will issue a ruling. One of the attorneys will prepare the judge’s ruling in the form of an order. It gets sent to the other attorney to review and comment. The changes are either accepted or there is an additional hearing for the judge to settle the remaining issues with the language of the temporary order.
There is often confusion about when the final order takes effect and the temporary order ends with regards to visitation and temporary support. Temporary orders expire when a final judgment in the case is made, either by trial or by agreement. Sometimes a case may have more than one temporary orders hearing. The original temporary order will remain in effect to the extent that it is not changed by the next temporary order. Even if the temporary or final order is not signed by the judge, the terms of the agreement are instantly in effect.