It is expected that the beginning of a divorce or custody proceeding will be difficult to say the least.  With the start of litigation, relationships and the way people act toward each other change immediately.

Tensions are high and the uncertainty is beyond stressful.  But what many people do not anticipate is the chaos that comes with beginning these proceedings.

Besides certain restraining provisions included in the Summons, you and your spouse/the other parent are left in limbo until your case concludes and you have final orders.  There are no “orders” in place governing how things should be done.

How will bills be paid?

Are we living in the home together, or is someone moving out?

How will we allocate caring for the children and parenting time if we no longer wish to be together as a family?

How will money be managed?

How will assets be managed?

How will attorney fees be paid?

If you and the other party cannot reach agreements on these interim issues, you may request the court schedule a temporary relief hearing.  Following the temporary relief hearing, the court will issue temporary orders that remain in effect until you have your final orders, or in some circumstances, until they are modified by subsequent temporary orders.

Minn. Stat. § 518.131 governs temporary orders.  The statute sets forth the issues that can be addressed on an interim basis.  When contemplating whether temporary orders may be helpful or necessary in your case, it is important to understand that some issues cannot be addressed on a temporary basis and will need to wait to be addressed in the final orders.

Temporary relief hearings most often proceed on written submissions and oral arguments rather than live testimony and exhibits offered at the hearing.  This means that it is critical that you have prepared for your hearing sufficiently in advance to meet deadlines, and that you have included all of the relevant information the court will need to make its decisions.  Failure to follow these important procedures could result in the dismissal or denial of your requests.

If the other party in your case has scheduled a temporary relief hearing, you must timely respond and participate to avoid having default orders entered against you.

Not every case includes a temporary orders hearing.  If you have questions about whether a temporary hearing may be right for your case, contact Rebecca to schedule a courtesy consultation to discuss your concerns and options.

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Authored by: Rebecca R. Baer, Esq.