• calendar12th Jun 23 10:00 pm
  • userJamie

Understanding Temporary Orders

Divorce and other family law matters can take a significant amount of time to resolve. While the case is pending, there may be confusion about all parties’ rights and responsibilities. Temporary orders can provide clarity and interim guidance until the court has the opportunity to hear each side fully or the parties can resolve the legal matter. If you would like more information about temporary orders or whether they might be right for your case, consider contacting the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442.

What Is a Temporary Order?

Temporary orders give the court the power to enter orders that to go in effect while a case is pending. These orders are relatively common in family law cases because the family may need more definite terms to deal with ongoing entanglements until the divorce or child custody matter can be resolved.

Temporary orders allow families to handle some of the most pressing matters. The State of Colorado allows temporary orders to be entered in family law cases concerning any of the following:

  • Divorce
  • Legal separation
  • Parental responsibilities
  • Annulment
  • Property division
  • Spousal maintenance or support

What Is the Purpose of a Temporary Order?

Temporary orders often allow families to maintain the status quo until the issue that has brought them to court can be resolved. While issuance of temporary orders is not mandatory and temporary orders are not made in every pending family matter in Colorado cases, they can provide clear outlines for the parties’ rights and responsibilities while their case is pending. The parties can agree to these orders, or one of them can request them from the court.

What Are Common Temporary Orders in Colorado Family Law Cases?

The State of Colorado Revised Statutes allow family courts to make temporary orders in family law matters to order one or more of the parties to:

  • Pay debts
  • Use property
  • Pay spousal support
  • Divide parental responsibilities
  • Pay child support
  • Pay attorney fees
  • Have parental responsibilities or decision-making authority
  • Leave the family home
  • Refrain from going to the other party’s home or place of business
  • Refrain from transferring, selling, hiding, mortgaging, or throwing away any marital property excess for that which is normal or for their needs
  • Notify the other party of any proposed extraordinary purchase
  • Account to the court for any extraordinary purchase
  • Refrain from harassing the other party or their child

Filing a Motion for Temporary Orders

Temporary orders may only be issued for cases already pending in front of the court, such as a petition for the allocation of parental responsibility or dissolution of a marriage. Then, the party who wants the orders must file a petition with the court, requesting temporary orders. The court will then schedule a hearing for the temporary orders.

What Happens at a Hearing for Temporary Orders?

Temporary order hearings are usually scheduled promptly after the request for a hearing is made. Colorado law requires a good faith settlement conference to occur before the hearing. During this conference, you and other party can discuss the temporary orders that one or both of you are considering. If you and the other party agree, you will sign a stipulation to these orders.

If one of the spouses is asking for temporary orders and the other spouse does not agree, the court may ask the parties about their positions. The court may consider additional evidence and testimony that is presented during the hearing. The judge often makes a decision about the orders the same day; in complex cases, when there are multiple factors to be weighed, he or she may take the matter under advisement and announce a decision another day.

Implications of Temporary Orders

The temporary order hearing can give all parties a preview of what to expect later in their case when it is heard. However, the hearing for a temporary order will usually be much shorter than the hearings held throughout the case, and in most cases the temporary order hearing will not involve the same intensity. If you and the other party agree on the temporary orders, the hearing is straightforward. One of your lawyers will present the temporary orders and the stipulation to the court and acknowledge your agreement. The stipulation must be submitted to the court and approved and signed by the judge for it to become an enforceable order.

The orders that are made are only temporary in nature. The same issues can be litigated again if and when there is a permanent orders hearing. Either party can file a motion for reconsideration or a motion for review if they are not satisfied with the court’s ruling.

The Lawyer’s Role in Temporary Orders

Many times, parties have their attorneys represent their interests at temporary order hearings. A lawyer may do the following:

  • Discuss the need for temporary orders with clients
  • Prepare petitions for the underlying family law case
  • Prepare motions for temporary orders
  • Gather evidence to support the need for temporary orders
  • Negotiate for temporary orders
  • Present evidence and examine witnesses at the temporary order hearing

If you have questions about how to obtain temporary orders or how to navigate the proceedings related to them, consider reaching out to a committed family law attorney at Colorado Divorce Law Group. Our team has experience requesting and obtaining temporary orders on behalf of our clients.

How Long Does a Temporary Order Last?

Temporary orders generally last until a final permanent order is entered into the case. However, they can sometimes be vacated sooner, such as if a case is dismissed or the court finds there is no basis for the temporary order. The parties may request, or the court may order, the modification of a temporary order already in place.

Temporary orders can sometimes form the basis of a permanent order. For example, if the court made a temporary order allocating parental responsibility and decision-making and that arrangement seems to be working, the court may continue the arrangement after the divorce. The court can also continue temporary orders for good cause, in which case the order will continue until the date specified in the order.

Contact a Knowledgeable Colorado Family Lawyer for Help With Your Case

If you are going through a divorce or child custody case and think a temporary order could be right for your situation, consider contacting the Colorado Divorce Law Group for legal advice and guidance. A skilled family attorney can explain your options for how to transition during this time in your life. Arrange a confidential consultation today by calling (720) 593-6442.