(Video above: Ogden attorney, Trevor Osborn, discusses what a Motion For Temporary Orders is and how it may apply to your Utah divorce or custody battle.)
It can take anywhere from 6 months to more than a year before a divorce or custody dispute in Utah is fully resolved. This extended timeline can create a lot of hardships for families. For example, most parents don’t want to wait until their case is completely resolved before they can have parent time with their children, or before they can have some degree of custody of their children, or before they can access some of their assets that are now tied up due to the pending divorce or custody proceeding. A Motion for Temporary Orders enables the parties of a case to bring these types of issues before the court and ask the court to provide a temporary resolution while the parties await the court’s final decision on the pending issues.
Some issues that are typically addressed in a Motion for Temporary Orders are:
- Temporary Physical Custody. Whether both parties will be awarded joint physical custody of the children, or whether one party will be awarded primary physical custody of the children.
- Temporary Legal Custody. Whether both parties will be awarded joint legal custody, or whether one party will be awarded sole legal custody of the children.
- Parent Time. How much time each parent will be allowed to spend with the children, and the dates and times of that parent time.
- Child Support. Whether one party will be entitled to child support from the other party.
- Division of Expenses. If there are ongoing expenses carrying over from a marriage (mortgage, debt, business expenses, etc.) whether these expenses be shared between the parties. If the children have recurring expenses, such as extracurricular activities, school fees, etc. the court may likewise order that such expenses be shared between the parties.
- Contribution to Insurance Premiums and Out of Pocket Healthcare Expenses. Typically the court will order that the parents share in the costs of the children’s insurance coverage and any out of pocket expenses involved with the children’s healthcare.
- Division of Property. Whether one of the parties should be entitled to live in the marital home, have exclusive access to vehicles, have access to bank accounts, or otherwise be entitled to certain use of marital property until the court has made its final decision on the case.
- Restraining Orders. Whether the court needs to make an order for the protection of the other party. For example, the court may require that one party stop visiting the work or residence of the other party, that they stop using abusive language toward the other party, or that they stop disparaging the other party in front of the children.
Once your motion has been filed, the other party has 14 days to respond. At the hearing, both parties and attorneys will be present and the attorneys will make arguments before a court commissioner. Generally, the commissioner will make a decision on your motion right there in court immediately after the attorneys have plead their respective cases. If you do not like the decision, you have 14 days to object and have the commissioner’s decision reviewed by your assigned district court judge.
Remember, these rulings are temporary in nature and do not constitute the final and permanent outcome of your case. These temporary orders may be changed, and frequently are changed, in the final divorce decree by court ruling or if the parties come to an agreement and settle the case before trial.