A lot of life happens between the moment you file for divorce and the day it’s finalized.
This period could range from months to years, depending on the court, how much research needs to be completed to determine and value the marital assets, and your ability (or inability) to reach an agreement. And as much as we would like it to, life doesn’t pause in the meantime.
Bills still need to be paid. The kids still need their parents. All everyday responsibilities proceed as if nothing changed. Because of this, it’s critical to create an interim plan once a divorce has been set in motion.
Being on the same page with your ex will make the transition easier to manage and keep life moving. But if the two of you can’t reach an interim agreement, you might have to look to the court for help.
If you and your ex are cordial and communicating, it may be more expedient to figure out some of the interim details on your own. You can work out a plan for paying the mortgage, taking the kids to school, each party’s living arrangements, or other contested or contentious issues. Consider the factors you face on a regular basis that need a plan and decide who’s responsible.
The more you can do on your own, the less legal fees you will incur. If you can come to an agreement, that’s fewer details for us to argue over.
An agreement does not mean capitulation, however; you might reach an understanding, but it is possible that it’s not the best bargain for you. We’ll talk about the deal and make sure your ex isn’t taking advantage of you or monopolizing the time with your children. If we recognize issues like that, we’ll address those with you so you can make an informed decision.
In many cases where no interim agreement has been reached, or where there’s little likelihood that the one is possible in the short term, the parties can file for temporary court orders. Although these are less formal than the final court order, they are still orders of the court, and will still be enforced by the court.
If there is ambiguity or uncertainty on issues from the start, a temporary court order is an immediate option. For example, if only one person works, there might be disagreements about who’s responsible for paying the bills. A temporary court order issued by the court could set those terms, and if someone doesn’t follow through, they will face penalties.
It is also possible that you’re working together at the beginning, but then something changes and the court needs to get involved. Divorces are a difficult time for everyone, and that means we are often negotiating with people who can be angry, bitter, sad or depressed on top of everything else. These factors inform the decisions being made, and therefore can make it challenging to stick to a mutual understanding.
When seeking a temporary court order, it is important to know exactly what you want. We will walk you through that process and help you stay safe and protected while your divorce is finalizing.
At Babbitt & Dahlberg, our attorneys will help you set the terms of the transition, and adjust the plan as the realities of life change. Divorces are all different, so the process changes from case to case. No matter what, we will be on your side to help you through one of the most challenging situations of your life. Click below to schedule a consultation today.