Temporary Orders in Divorce
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I Feel My Family or I May be in Danger if my Spouse Finds out I'm Filing for Divorce. What Can I do to Protect Us?
If you feel as though you or your family may be in danger from an angry spouse, there are many ways to get help:
- If the threat is imminent, please call the police.
- All cities (even small ones) have domestic violence or women's crisis centers. The people there want to assist you, and can help you and your children get through these tough times.
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233.
- If the danger is not imminent, go to family court and get a temporary restraining order to protect yourself and your children. You can get these orders very quickly for free.
What Kinds of Temporary Orders Can I Get? How Long Will it Take?
There are several kinds of temporary orders that you can get. Because you may be in a crisis situation or are trying to avoid one, your requests will be put on a fast track, and usually heard within days or a week. The temporary orders you can ask for include:
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs): to restrain a spouse from contacting or coming near the other, or to order the spouse to move out of the family's home
- Temporary Spousal Support or Child Support: to provide the dependent spouse and children with essentials during and before the divorce
- Temporary Child Custody: to restrain the other spouse from taking the children and to establish your right to keep them
- Temporary Order Not to Sell Assets: to guarantee that one spouse will not sell the family home, car, or other assets immediately
- Kick-Out Order: to remove the other spouse from the home and possibly temporary grant the dependent spouse sole possession of the house or a car
Can I or Should I Close Joint Bank Accounts and Credit Cards?
You should not close joint bank accounts or credit cards. Doing so may cause you problems down the road, since your spouse may try to later accuse you of theft or fraud. Instead, just withdraw as much money as you think you may need for the coming problems, plus extra for emergencies.
Can I Be Accused of Kidnapping if I Take My Children Away from the Home?
Taking your children away from a crisis situation is not kidnapping. However, it is in your best interest in the short and long term to avoid any problems by asking the court for a temporary child custody order. You can get this quickly, within a week or so, and will establish your right to have the children.
How Long Do Temporary Court Orders Last?
Temporary court orders are generally valid until the court holds another hearing, or until the two spouses work out their own agreement, either on their own or through mediations or negotiations.
Do I Need an Attorney to Get Quick Help?
A family law attorney can help you seek all the legal protection available to you. Hiring a family law attorney can make filing the necessary paperwork for TROs easier and make the overall experience less stressful.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 08-25-2011 02:51 PM PDT
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