Temporary Divorce Orders

temporary divorce orders

At the outset of a marriage dissolution proceeding, the court enters what are known as temporary divorce orders. A person contemplating a divorce needs to have a basic understanding of temporary divorce orders.

Temporary divorce orders are designed to govern the relationships of the parties while a divorce case is ongoing. In other words, these orders delineate how various issues are to be dealt with between the date a divorce case is filed and a final decree is granted.

Temporary Child Support Order

A temporary child support order is one of the key orders of the court at the commencement of a divorce case. The child support guidelines established in Pennsylvania provide the criteria upon which this temporary order is fashioned.

Temporary Custody Order

Along with a temporary child support order, when it comes to temporary divorce orders, custody is also addressed. A temporary custody order establishes which parent will have primary residential custody of the children while a divorce case moves through the court. In addition, it determines how legal custody will be addressed. A temporary child custody order establishes the parameters for parenting time (also known as visitation) during court proceedings.

Although a temporary custody order is by definition transitional, oftentimes the provisions in such an order become the elements of a final custody determination as well. This reality underscores the importance of making certain a party to a divorce has proper legal representation from the beginning of a marriage dissolution case.

Temporary Maintenance Order

Alimony is not awarded in all divorce cases. With that noted, even in cases in which alimony is not awarded as part of a divorce decree, temporary maintenance may be allowed while a divorce case pends in court. This type of order permits a spouse the ability to maintain a certain standard of living and to prepare for life as an unmarried person.

Other Temporary Orders

Depending on the circumstances of the parties, other temporary orders may issue from the court. For example, a court may issue a temporary order granting possession of the marital residence to one spouse during the divorce proceedings. Typically, this is the parent who is granted temporary primary custody of the children.

A court may also issue a temporary protection from abuse order if abuse is an issue in the relationship of the parties to the case. This may evolve into a permanent PFA at the conclusion of the proceedings.