Breaking Down Temporary Orders

Aside from dividing your assets, child custody is one of the most challenging components of a divorce case. Whereas the court always makes decisions according to the child’s best interest, parents may have a different understanding of what it looks like. Additionally, the parents and their attorneys are tasked with ensuring the child has a relationship with both parents despite the parents beginning new chapters in their lives. 

There can also be a lot of uncertainty and confusion during this time, and that is where temporary orders fit in. These can be viewed as lifelines for parents who are tied into a custody dispute but also need (and deserve) a degree of stability during it. It is equally beneficial for the child. We published this blog to discuss what these orders entail, their impact, and the consequences of ignoring them. 

Understanding Temporary Orders

Look at a temporary order as a bridge. Its purpose is to fill the gap between the initial disagreement surrounding the custody of your child and the resolution. The child’s well-being is the core of the order and will be a primary concern throughout the dispute. The first type of temporary order is an emergency custody order. These tools enable people to respond swiftly and decisively when the child faces an immediate threat. However, by design, they are not meant for long-term resolutions but rather to remove someone from a dangerous situation. 

  • Physical abuse 
  • Sexual abuse 
  • Neglect
  • Parental abduction 
  • Substance abuse

Upon receiving the motion, which your attorney will back with substantial evidence or testimonies indicating such threats, the court may issue an emergency order. This order may grant one parent sole temporary custody of the child, ensuring the child is removed from the harmful environment or potential threat.

In extreme cases, the order may prevent the accused parent from having any form of contact with the child. This ensures the child’s safety during investigations or further legal proceedings. It’s crucial to understand that these orders are intended to protect the child until a more thorough examination of the circumstances can be conducted.

What happens when there is no immediate threat? Your attorney may pursue a pendente lite order, which is seen as a holding pattern. There may be disagreements between spouses that prevent the divorce from being finalized, but both are fit parents who would not intentionally harm their child. In this scenario, the parents can work toward a custody and visitation schedule that will be followed until the final judgment is passed. 

Temporary Orders Have Serious Consequences

Even though they are temporary, they are still orders. Violating one can be catastrophic. If one parent breaches the order, the aggrieved parent may motion the court for enforcement. Contempt of court charges may be levied against the violating parent, leading to potential fines or even imprisonment. The order may undergo modification based on the breach, such as curtailing visitation rights.

Speak with Legal Counsel 

Child custody is a vastly complicated issue, and having experienced legal counsel can provide clarity and direction to an overwhelming situation. Schedule a consultation with our office today, and we will begin mapping your road forward.

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Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law

Andrea L. Gamalski understands how important it is to have a compassionate and empathetic family law attorney who fights hard for their clients in the courtroom–mainly because she’s been one of these clients herself.

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