Temporary Divorce Orders in Alabama

In a contested divorce, litigation can take months, even years. It may be long time before a domestic relations judge issues a final decision. During that time your spouse may move out. Your income may be cut in half. Contact with your children may be limited or even withheld by your estranged spouse. If you are going through a divorce, you may need to a quick, temporary decision from a judge in order to preserve the status quo from the time the divorce is filed until a final divorce settlement is reached. Temporary divorce orders (often referred to as "Pendente Lite Orders") serve to provide that temporary relief.

What divorce issues can be addressed by a temporary order?

Lets assume that a couple, that has been married for many years, has decided to divorce. Shortly after the wife filed for divorce, the husband moved out and emptied the bank accounts. The wife, as a stay-at-home mom, was left behind with no money to feed the children or pay the mortgage. Her trial date has been set out several months and the wife is desperate for financial support. Under these circumstances, the wife can file a motion for temporary relief and ask the judge to order the following:

  1. To establish the custodial rights of the parties and visitation arrangements;
  2. To provide spousal support (alimony) and/or child support payments;
  3. To enter an order freezing assets to prevent either spouse from selling valuable property; and
  4. To grant possession of the family home and/or cars to one of the spouses.
These temporary orders will be valid until a new order is issued or the parties reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation.

When do I need a temporary order?

Temporary divorce orders are generally reserved for those couples that are unable to negotiate a temporary agreement on their own. Your attorney should encourage you to try to negotiate an amicable solution that addresses your immediate needs at the outset. If you and your spouse are able to reach a temporary agreement, it will increase your chances of being able to reach an agreement regarding all the issues in your divorce. It will also have the added benefit of reduced attorney's fees and court costs. However, even if you are able to negotiate a temporary agreement, it may be a good idea to have a judge ratify that agreement in order to ensure that all parties comply.

For more information about divorce and temporary orders, contact The Yeatts Law Firm today.