Divorce should be thought of not as a single act but a progression of acts that eventually lead to the final divorce petition. In the meantime, most divorcing couples have several important issues that won't wait for the final decree. You will need help during separation and the law is on your side. Ask your divorce lawyer about taking action to have temporary orders issued to help you deal with things that need to be addressed now rather than later. Read below to find out more.
Take Action With a Temporary Restraining Order
If your spouse has moved out of the house and left you without a car, you can ask the judge to issue a restraining order against your spouse. If you need transportation to go to work, take your child to school, go get groceries, etc., you can let your needs be known at a hearing. Other transportation-related orders include:
- The vehicle is for your use during separation.
- The vehicle must remain covered by insurance and one or more parties are ordered to pay the car payments.
- The vehicle cannot be sold during the separation period.
It should be noted that orders issued during the separation period usually expire upon the final decree. In many cases, however, temporary orders can become permanent with the divorce.
Assert Your Custody Wishes
Child custody can be decided, at least temporarily, during separation too. You should be prepared to make your wishes known and to decide on a visitation schedule. If child custody is in contention, you might need several hearings to resolve things. Mediation and a professional child study may be necessary before the divorce is final. Expect the judge to make decisions based on what is best for the child during separation and on a permanent basis.
Keep Your Financial Situation Stable
While many don't see it this way, divorce is very much a financial and legal action. While you may be suffering from the emotional effects of the separation, you must act to protect yourself financially before it's too late. If you can show a need, you can ask for temporary spousal support (or alimony). You should be prepared to show that you are unable to earn enough income to pay your bills and that your spouse can afford to pay support. Another financial situation is marital debt. If you and your spouse cannot agree on who should pay the bills during separation, the judge can issue orders for one or more parties to pay the mortgage, credit card bills, and more.
Speak to your divorce lawyer for more information.