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Georgia Divorce Temporary Orders

Divorce can be a lengthy process.  For this reason, Georgia law allows a judge to issue a temporary order early in the process to address critical issues until a permanent divorce decree is entered.  Issues such as child support, child custody, visitation, and temporary attorney’s fees are typically addressed in a temporary order.  Additionally, a temporary order might address property division such as who is entitled to remain in the marital residence until the divorce is final.

Child Custody Issues

When a divorce is filed and minor children are involved, the court must make a number of preliminary decisions concerning issues related to the children.  A temporary hearing is scheduled; it consists of a miniature trial on certain issues such as child custody.  Both sides will present evidence and testimony to the judge, who will make a temporary decision.  Once the judge enters a temporary order, it typically remains in effect until the entry of a final divorce decree.  Child custody issues that are customarily addressed in a temporary order include the physical custody of the children, child support and visitation.  When a final hearing is held, these issues will be reconsidered and decided on a permanent basis at that time, but the impressions made in a temporary hearing can set a good or bad precedent and make lasting impressions on the court.

Property Issues

Certain property issues must also be decided on a temporary basis in a divorce case.  A standard mutual restraining order freezes the major assets of the marriage, except as may be moved in the “ordinary course of business”, with the purpose of prohibiting one party from hiding or dissipating some or all of the marital estate.  This type of temporary order puts banks and brokerage firms on notice that certain accounts (such as retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, money market accounts, etc.) are frozen as the result of a divorce being filed.  As a result, neither party can hide assets or gain access to funds that are held in a joint account until the assets are released by the court.  The court’s decision in a temporary hearing may allow or prohibit a party from accessing funds that may be needed to keep a child in college or allow one party to afford an attorney.  Additionally, a temporary order will also award the marital residence temporarily to one of the spouses and provide both spouses with temporary possession of their automobiles.   

Hiring an Attorney

Not only can divorce be a lengthy process, it can also be a complicated one.  Moreover, it carries long-lasting repercussions.  Hiring an experienced family law attorney is essential to protect your wellbeing especially if there are children involved.  Contact The Zdrilich Law Group today for a consultation.