In this multi-part blog series “What are the steps of a divorce” we continue our journey into the divorce process.
You have now served your spouse with the divorce documents, and wonder what’s next in the divorce process. If you are living apart, it may be time to establish temporary orders.
Temporary orders are orders that remain in effect through the pendency of your divorce case, or until a new court order is entered. Temporary orders may consist of establishing custody, parenting time, and child support, or address financial issues such as payment of the marital debt, household expenses, and spousal support.
• Temporary custody and parenting time order: Until there is a temporary order on custody and parenting time, both you and your spouse have equal rights to the children. It is important in the early stage of your divorce to establish custody and a specific parenting time schedule. Temporary orders on custody and parenting time will avoid the inevitable war of fighting over the children. Nothing worse that having the children held from you because you failed to seek a temporary order defining parenting time.
• Temporary order for child support: A temporary order on child support may be needed if you no longer reside in the same household with your spouse. As there is a minimum statutory wait period of six months to complete a divorce when there are minor children involved, you need to get child support established as soon as possible.
• Temporary order on household expenses and debt: Whether you are living in the same household or not, you should address how the household expenses and marital debt will be paid. Judges do not want to see assets be dissipated because of lack of payment (such as mortgages and car payments). And, debt must be paid, and paid on time, to preserve credit scores. A temporary order regarding finances can prevent the battle with your spouse about what debts will be paid, and who will be responsible to pay them. The court will expect status quo concerning payment of the marital bills during the pendency of your divorce. This will include all bills and expenses you and your spouse customarily pay to preserve the martial assets in the marital estate, including marital debts.
• Mutual restraining order: A mutual restraining order is a document prohibiting you and your spouse from disposing or hiding the parties’ assets. By having the court enter a mutual restraining order, it alleviates the concerns that either party may legally dispose or hide the marital assets. A mutual restraining order may include:
- Protection of assets and liabilities of the marriage
- Protecting insurance and beneficiary designations
- Preventing either of you from canceling or removing the other from health insurance policies
- Prohibiting either of you from cashing out or removing money from any pension, retirement, savings, or checking accounts
- Preventing either of you from canceling credit cards, increasing credit card limits, or obtaining new credit
- Preventing either of you from destroying, hiding, or diverting U.S. Mail to the other party
You will be permitted to make payment of the ordinary, usual, customary, and historic payment of bills and expenses of the marriage.
Contemplating a divorce can be one of the hardest decisions to make in life. There are many complexities involving the divorce process, making it overwhelming for most. However, know that you are not alone, and help is available. At Schmitt Law, PLLC we are here to answer your questions, ease your concerns, and protect your rights. To book a consultation, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC online or by calling (616) 608-4634. Our office is located at 401 Hall Street SW, Suite 112D, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
To read Part I of this series please click the link : https://laurieschmittlaw.com/what-are-the-steps-of-a-divorce-part-one/
To read Part II of this series please click the link: https://laurieschmittlaw.com/what-are-the-steps-of-a-divorce-part-two/