Temporary Parenting (Formerly Custody) Orders: How Long do They Last in Divorce?






Divorce is sometimes the only way out of a troubled marital union. Nonetheless, it can be a contentious process and often involves emotions that make it challenging to make rational choices. Perhaps you’re in such a situation and are browsing for a well-informed Family Lawyer Scottsdale – Jensen Family Law in Scottsdale AZ would be a great fit in that case.

Temporary parenting orders are legal declarations made by a court. They are typically issued during divorce proceedings when spouses cannot agree on matters relating to their children.

As such, they establish a parent’s rights and duties over their child. For instance, they define how much time either parent can spend with the child and the type of relationship they need to have with one another while still caring for the minor’s needs. They also come in handy if one or both parents want to protect their interests before the court makes a final declaration.

How Long Do the Orders Last?

The duration of the orders depends on the complexity of the divorce. For instance, a temporary order can last months or years if various contentious issues arise during the proceedings. But, if both parties iron out their differences quickly, the court may waive it after a few weeks.

Generally, the orders last until the court signs off on a final parenting order or decree – following a trial or agreement between both parents. And since they’re temporary, they may be modified or revoked as the divorce progresses.

The process of Getting Temporary Parenting Orders

The ideal approach to getting such orders is through mutual agreement between spouses. You can do this by filing an agreement with the court, which must include a parenting plan detailing how you intend to share your parenting responsibilities. As a result, you can avoid conflict and wastage of financial resources through litigation. If you agree to the terms of the order, a judge can then sign off on the agreement.

Conversely, your attorney can file a motion requesting temporary parenting orders if you can’t reach an agreement with your ex-spouse. The court then sets a hearing date, letting both parties present their cases. The other part should also be served with the motion and receive a notice to appear in court.

During the hearing, you need to submit evidence to the court in support of your request, such as character witnesses, income reports, or other applicable documents. Subsequently, a judge can grant the orders after hearing both sides and making a ruling.

You May Dispute the Orders

Temporary parenting orders are integral to the divorce process, as they set the tone for various aspects. For instance, they do the following:

  • Establish child custody and visitation rights.
  • Outline child support payments and other financial contributions, such as spousal support payments.
  • Determine who will pay for health insurance and educational expenses.
  • Choose the spouse who’ll live in the family home before the court issues permanent orders.

If you find some of the terms of the orders disagreeable, consider objecting early on. Otherwise, you may have to accept the terms of the orders until a more permanent resolution is agreed upon or determined in court. Plus, it would be a tall order trying to convince a judge to alter the order if it has been in effect for six months or longer.

Modification standards vary by state, so check your state’s laws for specifics. For instance, your state may require you to meet certain conditions, such as a substantial change in circumstances, before altering the orders. Or, you may need to present a valid justification for the change. A qualified family law attorney can also walk you through the process of filing for a modification.

Also, the court’s final decree often hinges upon a temporary order. In other words, the judge considers the temporary parenting orders when issuing the final decree, so the changes or modifications made to the orders could affect your case’s outcome.

The Child’s Best Interest Comes First

The court’s primary concern is the child’s best interests. Thus, when making temporary parenting orders and eventually issuing a final decree, the judge considers various aspects, including:

  • Safety of the child and their stability.
  • A child’s physical and emotional needs.
  • Special medical requirements.
  • The bond between the parent and child.
  • A child’s wishes – if they can express them.
  • The child’s age and gender.

Therefore, if you’re involved in a divorce and need temporary parenting orders, consider your child’s needs first. Otherwise, the court may dismiss your request or refuse to modify the order.

Temporary parenting orders provide structure and security for children and their parents during a divorce. And since such an order can be in effect for a long while, it’s advisable to ensure it’s not skewed in favor of one party over the other. As such, have a family attorney on your side to ensure the order upholds fairness and equity.

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