A scissor cutting a marriage certification, divorce

Courts often issue temporary orders to address daily living and support issues that arise during the divorce process. These orders can impact the final divorce settlement. It is important to carefully prepare and present evidence to the court to ensure that the temporary order is fair to both parties.

Temporary Orders Resolve Issues Until Divorce is Finalized

On average, a divorce in Illinois takes several weeks to months to become final. Even when a divorce is uncontested, the dissolution of a marriage requires time to move through the courts. A temporary order resolves living, child custody, and financial issues until the divorce is finalized.

Obtaining a Temporary Order

In some cases, spouses may agree to the temporary terms of separation while their divorce petition is reviewed by the court, but even in amicable divorces, there may be matters regarding the separation that must be resolved while the divorce is in progress. When this happens, one or both parties may request a hearing to establish temporary terms of their divorce.

When preparing for a temporary order hearing, the parties and their family law attorneys must ensure that all relevant evidence is ready for presentation to the court. Issues often made part of temporary orders include:

  • Alimony and Spousal Support – Financial records, earnings statements, bank accounts, other assets and earning ability help establish the need for spousal support until the divorce is finalized
  • Child support – The number of children in the marriage and the ability of one or both spouses to contribute to their financial support helps to determine an amount for child support and how much each spouse must contribute
  • Living arrangements – The order may establish temporary living arrangements and possession of the family residence
  • Child custody – Temporary custodial arrangements that may become part of the final divorce settlement
  • Division of property – A division of marital property, cash and assets can be made part of the temporary order

Temporary Order Impacts on Final Divorce

The temporary order is considered non-prejudicial in divorce proceedings, meaning that it does not control the divorce settlement. However, some aspects of a temporary order may have a lasting impact. Child custody and support, alimony, division of property and other matters may be transferred into the final settlement and should be carefully structured before they are made part of a temporary order.