A divorce can take from a few weeks to months and even years. So, while the divorce case is pending, matters like finances and parenting should be discussed by both parties for reaching a conclusion on how they will be handled during the divorce. However, if you and your spouse can’t agree on the same terms, family lawyers suggest to request temporary orders from the court.

Reasons Temporary Orders Are Needed During A Divorce

For the duration of the divorce process and hearings, temporary orders are used to legally bind couples to follow the court’s instructions in the matters of child custody, spousal support, home possession, child support, and other matters. This enables the couple to settle the matters temporarily when the divorce is in process.

How To Request A Temporary Order In A Divorce?

You need to work with your divorce lawyer to submit an official request for an order you want the court to make. This request is known as motion. The request or motion should state what orders you want the court to make and why. Keep in mind that both parties in a divorce file a motion for temporary orders.

Once the motion has been filed, the court will set a hearing date where both parties should be present with their lawyers and proof or witnesses in support of the motions they have filed. After asking questions from both parties, the judge will issue a ruling.

This ruling will be used the set the rules for the matter mentioned in the motion while the divorce is in progress.

What You Can Request In A Temporary Order?

You may be wondering which issues are usually requested for the court to issue a ruling for. Couples can request a temporary order for child support, parenting schedules, possession of the property, car, and other items, expenses, debts, alimony, and other issues. Moreover, a temporary order can restrict one spouse from interfering with the privacy of the other spouse. This can prevent potential assaults and domestic violence.

What Happens In A Temporary Order Hearing?

When you file a temporary order request or motion, a date is set by the judge for the hearing. Usually, the hearing is held within a few weeks. However, if there are any special requests, they can be held within a few days as well.

On the day of the hearing, both parties should be in the courtroom or in the judge’s office for the hearing. You, your spouse, and the witnesses are to testify. On the other hand, it’s also possible that the judge only accepts written statements from everyone involved (you, your spouse, and the witnesses).

If you’re filing a temporary order motion for child support, you may need to provide copies of income and expenses. In some cases, these copies are submitted after the filing of the motion, in other cases, you may need to fill out those forms even before filing the motion.

When you have produced the copies of the said documents, the judge will review the requests, ask you questions if anything needs clarification or testimony, ask your spouse to state or testify what they think about it, and will keep in mind the state’s guidelines for child support and the income of the spouses.

A good thing about temporary hearings is that they don’t take a lot of time. Mostly, these hearings are concluded within 30 minutes. The judge issues a ruling and issues the temporary order as you requested or after making changes to it.

On the other hand, if the judge gathers that more information is needed or the other spouse wasn’t given the notice for the hearing properly, the hearing can be postponed to another date with the issuance of an order that is effective only till the next hearing.

However, this must be kept in mind that any ruling issued in the temporary order hearing is in effect till the conclusion of the divorce process.


Temporary orders play a big role in divorce cases. This is because divorces take a long time to conclude and both spouses need a rulebook to follow for day-to-day issues. Temporary orders can solve this problem. Moreover, they can also stop an aggressive spouse from interfering with the privacy of the other spouse. Navigate your divorce and temporary orders with the help of the best divorce lawyers Fairfax VA.