Divorce litigation can take months to resolve, leaving many important issues hanging in limbo for Massachusetts couples and children. In an ideal divorce, the couple has already addressed these matters, but few divorces qualify as ideal. What can couples do right after filing for divorce to manage issues like child support and custody?

A temporary order handed down by a court might be the best way to address certain matters that cannot wait. For example, say the higher-earning spouse moves out before the divorce is complete, leaving the other spouse strapped for money. A temporary court order can help the lesser earning spouse make ends meet until a permanent divorce order is handed down.

What can you address in a temporary order?

  • Child custody and visitation plans
  • Child and/or spousal support
  • Possession of the home or an automobile
  • Sale of the family home
  • Orders to prevent either spouse from selling assets
  • Health insurance and other medical expenses
  • Protective or restraining orders

Couples must attend a brief hearing to acquire a temporary order. Although this hearing is short, it is vital to be prepared for the process. A family law attorney can help you prepare for the hearing, but you can also prepare on your own.

A good way to proceed is to make a list of your immediate needs to present to the court. This ensures that you do not overlook any issues that may affect the security of your family. Since you will not have much time to address the court, it is best to keep your comments short and on point. Even though a temporary order is not permanent, it can help you and your children get through the divorce with fewer hardships.

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