Find the right lawyer now

Temporary Orders in Divorce | LegalMatch Law Library

Find a Local Family Lawyer near You

I Feel I May Be in Danger If My Spouse Knows I’m Filing for Divorce. What Can I Do?

If you believe your safety and that of your family is in danger, help is available:

  • Call the police if the threat is imminent or you feel your life and the lives of your children are in danger.
  • Reach out to the women’s crisis or domestic violence center in your city. Every city, regardless of size, has at least one, and they know how to handle violent situations and are there to help you.
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (800) 799 - 7233.
  • If you don’t feel that you are in immediate danger, get a temporary restraining order from family court. These are free and can be ordered quickly.

What Types of Temporary Orders Can I Get? How Long Will It Take?

There are a variety of temporary orders available. If you are in a dangerous situation or are trying to avoid being in one, your request will be rushed and heard within days or a week. The temporary orders available are:

  • Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs): Used to restrain a spouse from coming near and contacting the other, or to order the spouse to move out of the family home.
  • Temporary Spousal Support or Child Support: Provides the dependent spouse and children with necessities before and during the divorce.
  • Temporary Child Custody: Gives one spouse custody and bars the other from taking them away.
  • Temporary Order Not to Sell Assets: Bars one spouse from liquidating assets such as the family home, car, or other holdings.
  • Kick-Out Order: Removes one spouse from the home; may temporarily grant remaining spouse sole possession of the house or car.

Can I or Should I Close Joint Bank Accounts and Credit Cards?

It is not advised to close any joint credit cards or bank accounts as this may be used as ammunition by your spouse to accuse you of fraud or theft. Withdraw what you need now, what you may need for upcoming issues, and extra for emergencies.

Can I Be Accused of Kidnapping If I Take My Children Away From the Home?

Removing your children from a crisis situation is not considered kidnapping. If at all possible, and so long as you are safe, obtain a temporary child custody order from the court. These are processed quickly, and will establish your rights to the children. If you wish to move your children out-of-state, it is wise to speak to a lawyer to first determine if it will hurt your chances to obtain child custody once the divorce is finalized.

How Long Do Temporary Court Orders Last?

Temporary court orders are typically valid until the next court hearing. If both spouses are able to work out an agreement on their own, they can bring it to the judge to make it legally enforceable. But between court hearings, those seeking a permanent order can use the time to gather evidence and prepare their case.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you are in a situation where you need a temporary order (and if you are hoping to seek a permanent order), a family law lawyer can assist you in obtaining as much legal protection as possible. An attorney can help streamline the process, and advise you of your best and safest course of action.

Photo of page author Sarah Tipton

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 12-19-2017 12:50 PM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.