Terese J. Singer

Temporary Orders

Family Law Attorney Helping Residents of Milwaukee

While the court system offers an avenue for justice and the organized resolution of family disagreements, it is not an especially efficient system. Divorce, child custody, and child support proceedings can easily take months, if not years, to run their course. For many families, this can feel like a protracted period of living in limbo, uncertain how things will ultimately turn out. While waiting can be bearable in some situations, this is not always the case. When the possibility of harm to a family member or child exists, or important aspects of the status quo may be irreparably changed as a result of the actions of one of the parties, relief through a temporary order may be available. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee family law lawyer Terese J. Singer is equipped to assist you in seeking the necessary temporary protection to ensure that your rights and those of your loved ones are protected.

What Is a Temporary Order?

A temporary order from a court directs a party in a legal proceeding to do something, or refrain from doing something, for a limited period of time. Temporary orders are typically put in place while the court is weighing evidence or considering the possibility of a more permanent order, like a permanent restraining order. Temporary orders often come up in proceedings such as divorce cases or child custody disputes. For example, in a contentious child custody case, one parent may seek a temporary order from the court directing that another parent cannot take a child out of the country while the custody proceedings are pending. Or, in an ongoing divorce, one spouse may seek a temporary injunction requiring that the other parent not spend joint assets or otherwise undermine the couple’s financial circumstances.

Temporary orders may also be used to direct parties to continue to pay for certain benefits, such as health insurance, or pay child support while divorce or custody issues are being litigated. They are also commonly used to protect individuals, such as a spouse or child, when another family member is acting in a manner that is dangerous. These temporary restraining orders will restrict one party from being within a certain distance of another party until the court can determine whether allegations of danger are well-founded.

Obtaining a Temporary Order

Temporary orders can be sought at any time. Any person who is fearful of someone else can seek a temporary restraining order, even if there are no other ongoing legal proceedings. Temporary orders related to divorce or child custody issues can be sought when legal papers are initially filed, or later in the process when an issue requiring the immediate attention of the court may arise.

For temporary orders related to ongoing or recently initiated proceedings, the party seeking the order must file a motion for a temporary order with the court. The other party will then have an opportunity to respond. The court will review the arguments of both parties and will likely schedule a hearing to have the arguments discussed in more detail by the parties or their lawyers. If necessary, each party should be prepared to present specific evidence to the court in support of their argument for or against a temporary order. After the hearing, if it believes it is warranted, the court will issue a temporary order. This will stay in place until a final order, such as a final order of divorce, is issued. Or the court may deny the temporary order.

Temporary restraining orders have a slightly more complicated procedure, since they may arise independent of ongoing legal proceedings and impose severe restrictions on other parties. An individual seeking a temporary restraining order must petition for a TRO with the local court. The court will evaluate the petition on its face and decide whether to grant an initial TRO or deny it. It will then schedule a hearing to follow within 14 days for more thorough arguments on the merits. If, after this hearing, the court believes the restraining order should still stand, it will grant a permanent injunction.

Consult a Knowledgeable Milwaukee Lawyer for a Family Law Matter

While family law proceedings, such as a divorce or a child custody determination, can seem to stretch on for a long time, temporary relief is available for urgent issues that require immediate attention. If you feel that a spouse or other family member is taking advantage of legal delays to unfairly prejudice you, or to threaten your safety, you may be able to seek a temporary order against such actions. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee family law attorney Terese J. Singer understands the importance of temporary orders and has helped many people pursue or defend against them. She represents residents of Milwaukee, Port Washington, Mequon, Racine, West Bend, Waukesha, and other communities in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Contact our office at (414) 271-6400 or online to set up a free consultation with a divorce attorney.

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