A temporary hearing occurs when one person seeks some sort of preliminary order until the matter is finally resolved. Most commonly, these hearings are part of a divorce proceeding, but may also occur when a grandparent or other figure seeks custody of a child when the parents cannot provide proper care. Temporary court hearings are much shorter than final hearings, so you should be sure that you know exactly what you want before the hearing. Typically, these hearings are limited to one hour.

Issues Addressed in Temporary Custody Hearings

There is no set list of issues that can be addressed since every situation is unique. However, in temporary court hearings, the following types of family court decisions are commonly made:

  • Possession of a marital home 
  • Possession of vehicles
  • Child support, usually based on child support guidelines 
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody and visitation schedule 
  • Health insurance 
  • Uninsured medical expenses 
  • Mutual Restraining Orders

Purpose of a Temporary Custody Hearing

Some spouses can agree on the temporary issues. If you’re in that situation, it’s likely to save you a lot of expense and trouble. If, like many couples facing separation, you and your spouse are unable to agree on these issues, you should seek a temporary order immediately. This is particularly important when it comes to custody of children.

What to Expect During the Hearing

Your next step is to attend a court hearing where your application will be considered by the judge. The hearing can be held in emergencies within a couple of days, but it will likely be a few weeks. The judge will: 

  • review the details of the requests and the underlying facts, 
  • possibly ask your spouse some questions, if any, for his or her side of the story,
  • refer to state guidelines on recommended support, 
  • consider factors such as the income of each spouse and who has primary custody of the children.

This hearing usually lasts one hour. The judge will probably make an immediate ruling at its conclusion. The order will only remain in effect until the divorce is finally settled, either through a trial or by agreement between you and your spouse.

Contact a Lawyer

Because the court does not usually change custody at the final hearing, the temporary hearing is often the most important hearing in your case!

If you are going to need a temporary hearing, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer right away. Call our law firm to discuss how we can help you.