Temporary Orders: Gone Today or Here To Stay?

When it was dedicated in 1889, the Eiffel Tower's builders intended it as a temporary structure to decorate Paris during the World's Fair and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. At that time, World's Fairs were major international events, bigger even than the Olympics. Officials were ready to demolish it in 1909, but decided to keep it as a radio tower. Today, the Eiffel Tower draws more visitors than any other paid tourist destination on the planet. The most famous landmark in the City of Lights is not the only temporary thing that becomes permanent. In most Illinois divorces, the judge enters temporary orders within a few weeks, or even a few days, after the petition is filed. Although they are meant to be temporary, in many cases, these orders may eventually become permanent.

The Law

Either party may request temporary child support and/or temporary spousal maintenance. Many times, these orders are prepared on the basis of affidavits that are submitted along with supporting financial documents, such as paystubs and tax returns. If there is a compelling need, the judge may hold an in-person hearing.

Temporary orders govern custody, visitation, and support matters until the divorce is finalized. Such temporary orders generally also include:

  • Financial Restraining Order: Parties are prohibited from transferring or spending money in anything other than the usual course of business, normal living expenses, and attorneys' fees payments.
  • Personal Restraining Order: Children may not leave the county or the state for any purpose or for any length of time, absent extraordinary circumstances and the judge's written permission.
  • Case-Specific Orders: For example, when there are allegations of domestic violence, the judge may order parties to attend counselling or surrender any dangerous weapons in their possession.

If there is evidence that “irreparable injury will result to the moving party,” orders may be entered without hearings. Temporary orders are always subject to modification and, in many cases, are appealable.

The Procedure

Temporary orders often become permanent because judges generally favor the status quo, and are reluctant to upset it unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Additionally, the same judge that enters or approves the temporary orders is often the one that will approve the final decree, and no one likes to admit that they made a mistake.

That being said, the temporary orders are not set in stone. In many cases, information comes to light during discovery that radically alters the situation or a social investigator unearths evidence that pertains to the best interest of the children. Moreover, the judge almost always accepts whatever agreement the spouses reach, even if it alters provisions in the temporary orders.

Events transpire quickly in divorce proceedings, so it is important to put an experienced Naperville family law attorney on your side as soon as possible. Contact us today for prompt assistance.


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