While the divorce is pending, who gets use of the house, when can I see the kids, do I have use of our money? Get a Temporary Order!
A concern among any person splitting from a spouse, is how do I know that I will be protected during the divorce proceedings? For starters, work with your spouse to come up with a plan. Ideally, the two spouses will come up with fair and reasonable resolutions that encompass placement of minor children, use of the marital home, use of marital assets and funds, and payment on any marital debts. If you come up with an agreement, put it in writing so that all the terms and conditions are clearly stated and understood. This temporary agreement needs to be followed until the two of you decide mutually to change it or a court order tells you to do something else. The temporary agreement does not have to be your final agreement. It is a starting point and often times after people get settled in to their new lives, adjustments to the agreement will have to be made.
I think it is best for your spouse to make the temporary agreement a Temporary Order. In doing so, the Temporary Order holds both spouses accountable to uphold their end of the deal. There are sanctions if one party does not follow through with the Temporary Order.
If you and your spouse cannot come up with an agreement, that is fine. You can request a hearing on a Temporary Order and a court official will make an order based on the evidence presented at the scheduled hearing.
I will explain in a moment how to get to request a Temporary Order Hearing and how to obtain a Temporary Order if you and your spouse have an agreement. Before I get to that, I want to emphasize how important it is to have the Temporary Order.
We are talking about your life. You need certainty. A Temporary Order will help to clear up many areas of concern. You must consider the following:
Define a specific physical placement schedule to see your kids, with times for exchanges and designations for transporting the children to and from placement. What about holidays?
Determine what it will cost for each spouse to live separately and then come up with a plan for payment of expenses by sharing income.
Will someone pay child support?
Assign payment of bills.
Discuss use of cell phones and payment of phone plans.
Figure out who will pay household expenses, like the mortgage, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance and utilities.
Determine who gets to live in the martial home and who is moving out.
Decide on use of vehicles and other substantial assets.
What about bank accounts – do you continue to deposit your paycheck into a joint account or do you establish an individual account.
Consider the use of credit and who is responsible for the payment of debt.
As you can see, these topics are vital, difficult to discuss, and can be emotional. If you and your spouse cannot reasonably determine what to do, then you will need an order to help you. Whether by agreement or order, you need a path to move forward.
If you and your spouse come up with a fair agreement complete the Stipulation for Temporary Order. You can find the documents here:
. Once completed, file the documents with the Clerk of Circuit Court and ask the Family Court Commissioner to approve the agreement. Once approved, the agreement will be made a Temporary Order. At that point, unless you and your spouse mutually agree otherwise, all terms and conditions of the Temporary Order must be followed. If the terms cannot be met and for good reason, a review of the Temporary Order will need to be requested so that the terms and conditions may be modified.
If you and your spouse do not have an agreement and if you want a Temporary Order, then you need to complete an Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Temporary Order. You can find the documents here:
At that point you will file the documents with the Clerk of Circuit Court and you will need to obtain a date for a Temporary Order Hearing with a court official. After you have the date for the hearing you will need to notify your spouse of the hearing date and time.
We are experts in this area of the law and we can help you. Please reach out to Attorney Ryan Kautzer or Attorney Kyle Kaufman for assistance.