Temporary orders are the orders a court may make effective from the time a lawsuit for divorce is filed until it is resolved and the divorce decree is signed by the court. These orders are generally designed to preserve the status quo (current status) of the spouses’ marital property, finances, and children, and may include obligations to pay temporary child support, pay temporary spousal support, and provide for child custody and visitation arrangements. Temporary orders may also prohibit the spouses from selling or transferring significant marital or community property assets. If there are any allegations of family or domestic violence or abuse, the court may issue a stay-away order of protection restricting the spouses’ physical proximity to each other and the nature and means of their communications with each other.
Laws regarding the subjects and processes for temporary orders vary from state to state and are usually located in a state’s statutes—often in the family code or domestic relations code.