The Temporary Orders Hearing In Arizona (& How To Prepare)

The temporary orders hearing can be an integral part of the Arizona divorce process. A divorce can take many months to finalize. 

Because the dissolution of marriage also means some complicated financial and personal considerations, the law allows for temporary orders hearings that can be handled quickly to make sure the family unit can function as well as possible during the interim.

When you consider the questions, such as childcare, child custody, housing, and spousal support, it could present an undue hardship to make many spouses wait for the final determinations in a divorce case in order to move forward.

What You Should Know About Temporary Order Hearings

In a divorce case, to initiate the procedure, one party will file a motion for temporary orders. The other party may then file either a response or a counter-motion of their own. 

Often, in amicable divorce cases, there will not be a need for counter motions because both parties would have agreed to the terms of the temporary orders prior to the hearing.

Temporary orders are exactly as they sound — not permanent.

Although, you should discuss any positions and potential agreements with an experienced family law lawyer as they may have an effect on the final resolution of your case.

When awarded a motion for temporary orders, the family court is ruling on how issues like child support, parenting time, legal decision-making and/or spousal maintenance are handled during the course of the divorce proceedings. 

gavel on table with family court sign

The final order from the divorce decree determines these matters going forward after the divorce, and the court does have the right to modify the temporary orders.

Examples of Temporary Orders

During the course of a marriage, couples often join all of their financial interests.

This can leave one or the other spouse in a difficult position in the event of divorce because they’re not equipped to pay the bills they owe with their own income alone.

Other considerations often include housing and childcare.

Temporary order hearings are meant to help both parties move forward during the time that it takes for the case to go through court proceedings.

Temporary orders don’t only cover financial implications, either. Parenting time and determining legal decision-making are often significant issues in a temporary order hearing.

Here are a few examples of scenarios where a temporary order hearing might be required:

  • Parenting Time Schedule. A temporary order hearing can determine the parenting time schedule. This includes setting a schedule for each parent to have the child(ren) in their residence and can help determine things like holiday schedules, and pick up/drop off arrangements.
  • Temporary Child Support. Child support is often essential for the maintenance and well-being of the children within the marriage. Temporary child support can be awarded temporarily, based on factors like each parents’ income and where the child will be residing the majority of the time.
Child Support agreement paper on table
  • Spousal Maintenance. There are provisions in the law for spousal maintenance in Arizona. If one spouse relies primarily on the other for financial support or if one spouse’s income is significantly higher, spousal maintenance could be awarded.
  • Marital Home Issues. Temporary order hearings may address which party is able to reside in the marital home. 
  • Possession of Automobile or Other Assets. Temporary order hearings might address which spouse retains possession of a family car or other assets.
  • Division of Financial Responsibilities Not Covered Under Child Support. For many families, there are other expenses not addressed with child support that may be ruled on in a temporary order hearing. This can include tuition payments and other expenses for lessons, sports, and other activities.

How to Prepare for a Temporary Order Hearing

In a case where both spouses are in agreement about all of the issues that will be determined in a temporary order hearing, the process is much simpler.

The parties simply reduce their agreements to writing, sign the agreements and submit them to the judge to adopt.

There are certain legal parameters that need to be followed for the temporary order motion to be granted.

These may vary depending on which type of temporary orders you are requesting.

It is important to discuss your options with an experienced family law lawyer so that the correct paperwork is filed and all procedural rules are followed.

When both parties don’t agree on all aspects of the dissolution of the marriage, it’s important that you’re prepared for your temporary order hearing.

This means that the proper paperwork is filed and that you have all relevant documentation to make sure the judge can rule accurately during your hearing.

It is also important that the relevant supporting documentation is prepared and submitted appropriately for the hearing.

It’s important that you provide your divorce lawyer with all relevant information at your disposal, as well.

Your counsel, when aware of all facets that can come up during the hearing can help you mitigate issues that might negatively impact you. 

At the very least, they can prepare you for the likely outcome of the hearing. In a less than amicable divorce process, making sure that your legal interests are protected can be essential.

Temporary orders, or an agreement between the parties, should be in place regarding parenting time as soon as possible.

This helps both parents navigate without extra reasons for argument because the schedule for where the child should be will already be determined. 

This can also protect your interests as a parent if your spouse is not behaving according to mutually agreed-upon schedules.

Temporary orders can be uniquely determined according to your circumstances.

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