Signing a temporary child custody order durationTemporary custody order duration varies depending on the factual circumstances of a case. This article will help you learn more about temporary custody orders, how long they last, and how you can obtain this important order.

Temporary Orders

Temporary orders happen when a court formally requires one or both parties to do something. In general, temporary orders tackle issues such as shared assets and finances, and both parties must follow temporary orders throughout the whole divorce process or until the court issues a further order.

As for temporary custody orders, they indicate who has the right to visitation or custody throughout the settlement or litigation process. They can also tackle other issues such as parenting problems, child support, decision-making and others.

Even though temporary court order is not a requirement, it can be valuable in some divorce cases. To illustrate, custody orders might become essential when the relationship between spouses is far from amicable. You can receive temporary orders through a family court judge or an agreement with your spouse.

Temporary Orders in a Divorce

Divorce cases can be hectic and take a lot of time to resolve. During the divorce process, spouses might need temporary orders to handle critical or complicated issues. The judge is the one who puts these temporary orders in place while the divorce case is pending. These orders might include custody agreements, child support, parenting plans, residence usage, spousal maintenance and many more.

If a couple has an amicable relationship, then both parties can agree on handling essential issues (i.e., temporary child support or spousal support and temporary child custody). They must submit their agreement to the court, which will enter it as the court’s order. However, in most cases, agreeing with a soon-to-be-ex-spouse is not an easy task. To clarify, if you have difficulty agreeing with the other party on the motion for temporary custody, the judge will conduct a temporary custody hearing.

During this hearing, both parties will have the right to present their side of the story and make special requests. After hearing both spouses and carefully reviewing the evidence they present, the judge makes a final decision regarding temporary custody orders. A child’s wellbeing is the judge’s primary concern; thus, he will always put the child’s best interests first.

Temporary Restraining Orders

Many people confuse temporary restraining orders with temporary orders. Keep in mind that these two types of orders are completely different. Temporary restraining orders tackle aspects of protective orders (ex. Order of Protection) or other civil law issues.

What Are the Types of Temporary Orders in a Family Law Case?

A temporary order addresses many issues that crop up during a divorce. Keep in mind that when the court issues an order, you will face the consequences if you fail to abide by these orders.

In this section, we’ll look at some of the most common temporary orders a court might address in family law cases.

Financial Support

In many households, one party will usually depend on child support and spousal support for survival. If you’re the party that requires financial assistance, it is a good idea to formalize alimony and child support through an official court order. This will ensure your financial safety, and your spouse will be compelled to continue paying support. They will not have the right to stop or change payments, or they will face legal consequences.

Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time

A divorce case might take months or even years before finally being resolved. If a couple has one or more children together, it is necessary to agree on how to care for and parent their children during the divorce. Thus, temporary orders will include details on the following:

  • Traveling with the child inside or outside of the country
  • Caregiver expectations and responsibilities
  • School and other educational activities (i.e., drop-off and pick-up schedules)
  • Legal decision-making
  • Clear and fair parenting schedule
  • How to handle family events (i.e., how each parent will continue to participate in children’s activities or events)

Use of marital residence

One of the parties might request an exclusive usage of the marital residence due to several personal or familial reasons. The court will take into consideration the financial state of both parties before making a decision. Sometimes, one party might not be able to support two households, so financial support orders come hand-in-hand with exclusive marital residence use.

How Long Does a Temporary Custody Order Last?

Mom and daughter after a temporary custody orderAs explained above, temporary custody orders are short-term solutions to some issues that may arise while the divorce is in process. In other words, temporary orders will stay in place until the judge issues a final order or a permanent order. After that, the court will dissolve all temporary orders unless they are a vital part of the final order.

The duration of a temporary custody order varies depending on the case. If court battles occur, temporary orders will last for several months or years. Despite this, you can still change a temporary custody order through an agreement with the other party or another court order. If you fail to set temporary custody agreements with the other party, you will have to meet specific guidelines and rules for the judge to consider your request.

Temporary orders can get extremely complicated and have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek professional advice from experienced family attorneys before attending any temporary order hearings.

How Can You Receive Temporary Custody Orders?

The easiest way to get temporary custody orders is to set temporary custody agreements with your spouse. This will save you money, litigation and conflict. Once you agree, you must submit your temporary custody orders to the judge, which will then become the court’s official orders.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a good connection with your spouse and fail to reach an agreement, you must file a “Motion for Temporary Orders.” After that, the court will set a hearing where both of the parties must present their arguments. Such hearings can be challenging since they have a limited time period and you will need to present all the evidence and arguments within this short period of time.

Steps To Obtaining a Temporary Custody Order

Your family attorney is your best friend when it comes to obtaining a temporary custody order. They will guide you through the entire process while keeping your best interests in mind.

Each case may be different, but here are the general steps you must follow:

  1. Decide what temporary orders are necessary for your case. Keep your child’s best interests in mind.
  2. Try to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding temporary custody orders. If you succeed, you must submit the necessary documents to the court to adopt your agreement as a court order.
  3. If you fail to reach an agreement, you must file for a “Motion for Temporary Orders” along with necessary evidence and supportive documents.
  4. Make sure to gather all supporting evidence to present during temporary custody order hearings. The court will closely examine your proof, so don’t try to lie or provide false information.
  5. Do not miss temporary custody order hearings as they may turn against and impact your divorce case.
  6. Wait for the judge’s decision. A judge will always prioritize your child’s best interests.

In some situations, you might need to file for a “Motion for Temporary Orders Without Notice” or “Emergency Motion for Temporary Orders.” In other words, you might need to file for a temporary order urgently due to the following situations:

  • Your spouse has committed violence against you or any of your children. It is best to discuss with your attorney about what type of temporary order to file for. In case of domestic violence, an “Order of Protection” might be more suitable than “Motion for Temporary Orders Without Notice” or “Emergency Motion for Temporary Orders.”
  • Other situations where irreparable damage occurs.


  • Judge issuing a temporary custody orderTemporary court orders are not an obligation, but the agreements you make and the decisions you make will significantly impact your case.
  • If you’re seeking a temporary full custody order, keep in mind that it might become complicated, and it’s always an excellent decision to seek professional advice from an experienced attorney.
  • To receive a temporary court order for child custody, you must follow several steps. Never try to provide false evidence, as it will turn against you.
  • The best option to obtain temporary orders is through setting an agreement with your spouse. If not, you will have to file a “Motion for Temporary Orders.”
  • In difficult situations, you might need to file an urgent custody order through “Motion for Temporary Orders Without Notice” or an “Emergency Motion for Temporary Orders.”

After reading this article, we’re sure that you are now more aware of the proper process to go through if you’re planning to obtain a temporary custody order. Nevertheless, don’t forget to consult with your family attorney to get better guidance on the whole process.

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