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Jupiter Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > What to Expect at a Divorce Temporary Hearing

What to Expect at a Divorce Temporary Hearing


Usually, a divorce temporary hearing is the first step in a very long process, especially in contested divorce matters. However, the temporary hearing is not a meaningless scrimmage or warm-up game. Instead, in many ways, the divorce temporary hearing sets the tone for the remainder of the proceeding.

At this stage, judges usually make important decisions based on little evidence. These temporary decisions, some of which are outlined below, often become permanent later.

An experienced Jupiter divorce attorney understands what’s at stake in a divorce temporary hearing. Lawyers, especially lawyers who represent respondents (non-filing parties), usually have little time to prepare for these hearings. Therefore, it’s essential to have a plan from the outset and hit the ground running.

Temporary Support and Custody

Temporary spousal support is usually on the agenda at a divorce temporary hearing. That’s especially true if a sudden marital trauma, like domestic violence, prompted the petitioner (filing party) to ask for divorce.

If, as is usually the case, the parties had been separated for several months or years, judges are less inclined to award temporary alimony. An obligee (person receiving alimony) cannot manufacture an economic need because s/he planned poorly.

If a Palm Beach County judge decides alimony is appropriate, the amount of payments usually vary, based on:

  • Standard of living during the marriage,
  • Custody of minor children,
  • Fault in the breakup of the marriage (as mentioned above), and
  • Length of the marriage.

Technically, interim spousal support orders end when the judge finalizes the divorce. But the obligee can usually extend this order, sometimes indefinitely. It’s much easier to prove a continuing economic need than an original economic need.

In terms of custody and visitation, judges often prefer to maintain the status quo, even if the current timeshare arrangement is far from perfect. Divorce is very hard on children, whether they admit it or not. So, the less their lives change, the better.

Guidelines usually determine interim child support payments. Some factors to consider include the income of both parents, the overnight visit split, the age of the children, and a few other items.

Property and Parties Restraining Orders

Judges don’t divide the marital estate, which includes both assets and debts, during the temporary hearing. An equitable division would be impossible at this early stage.

However, the judge usually enters a property restraining order. This order clarifies control of jointly-owned property. For example, if Wife drives a Toyota, she has sole possession of the vehicle while the divorce is pending. She’s also solely responsible for all payments, as well as all maintenance, taxes, and so on.

Parties restraining orders are usually low key. Frequently, they direct the spouses not to interfere in each others’ lives or the children’s lives. This interference includes financial interference, such as cutting off utility service.

Sometimes, these restraining orders are stronger. If a party presents valid evidence of domestic violence, a full restraining order might be in effect. These orders usually ban contact, sharply limit child visitation, and order the alleged abuser to attend anger management or other such classes.

 Count on a Diligent Palm Beach County Lawyer

Divorce and related matters almost always involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Jupiter family law attorney, contact Caroline Olson, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout the Treasure Coast area.

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