Interim Orders in a Michigan Divorce
Divorces are not speedy. They take a minimum of 60 days in Michigan to complete – 180 days if you have children – and, in either case, usually last up to a year or more. Interim orders are arguments that are heard and decided quickly in family court – though not permanently – and usually involve spousal support and child custody.
What Do Interim Orders Cover?
Interim orders, also known as temporary orders, address matters that are pressing and cannot wait for the end of a divorce to be decided. Parties can ask a court to temporarily decide on urgent matters which may include:
- Child custody and parenting time: The court always acts in the best interests of the children. While a divorce is underway, instability is a given, but a court will act quickly to establish where the children of the union should live and how much time each parent gets with their children.
- Spousal support: A former couple usually maintain separate households during divorce proceedings, which means they both have bills to pay, groceries to buy, life to live – and that costs money. State law allows the lower-earning or non-earning spouse to seek interim spousal support to maintain a standard of living while their divorce case is underway.
- Child support: A child’s needs cannot be put on hold during a Michigan divorce. The spouse who maintains primary custody can file an interim order for child custody so they can provide their child with what they need, from food to clothes to activities to schooling to medical care.
- Property and assets: An interim order can be requested to prevent either spouse from selling valuable assets, or to allow a spouse to give the other possession of the family home, car, or other significant asset.
Hearings for interim orders, once the request has been properly made, are usually scheduled quickly, sometimes within days, and a judge will issue his or her decision on the matter. The interim orders that are granted are typically valid unless another hearing is requested or until the spouses arrive at a permanent divorce settlement through negotiation.
Why File for a Temporary Order in a Michigan Divorce?
Even if your divorce is proceeding amicably, things can change in a heartbeat. Or, you may not trust that your soon-to-be former spouse will deliver on the things they promised, like help paying the mortgage, buying the kids’ school clothes and supplies, or dropping the kids off for their weekend with you. An interim order creates a legal judgment that is binding, at least temporarily, so you can get the support and time with your kids that was agreed upon.
Every interim order is determined on a case-by-case basis. What you need and ask for will differ from what another divorcing couple may consider a pressing matter. A court will take into consideration a variety of factors to make their decision, typically the same details that will be applicable in a final divorce decree, like the length of the marriage and whether the spouse can earn the necessary income to support the household.
Get Help from a Michigan Divorce Lawyer Regarding Interim Orders
As with all divorce matters, paperwork must be filed to get an interim order underway. An experienced Michigan divorce attorney is your best resource, as he or she understands the motions required for a temporary order. A divorce lawyer will deal with your concerns speedily and get them in front of a court as soon as possible to resolve the matter.
If you need to learn more about interim orders in Michigan, schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can guide you through the divorce process and help you address the pressing matters in your split. Contact Michigan Divorce Help, PLLC, family law attorneys in Macomb County.