As an El Paso County Family Law Attorney, one of the first hearings my clients usually attend is the Temporary Orders Hearing. This article will address the basics of the Temporary Orders Hearing and will hopefully answer common questions about a Temporary Orders Hearing.
I find that a Temporary Orders Hearing is usually requested or scheduled in one of two ways. First, parties will request a Temporary Orders Hearing by filing a motion. The second way I see parties request a Temporary Orders Hearing is at the Initial Status Conference or the ISC.
Before the actual Temporary Orders Hearing, in the Colorado Fourth Judicial District (El Paso County and Teller County) the parties must have a good faith settlement conference to discuss the contested issues for the Temporary Orders Hearing.
Law on Temporary Orders
Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 14-10-108 provides the guidelines and law on Temporary Orders. C.R.S. 14-10-108 (1) states that, “In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, the allocation of parental responsibilities, or declaration of invalidity of marriage or a proceeding for disposition of property, maintenance, or support following dissolution of marriage, either party may move for temporary payment of debts, use of property, maintenance, parental responsibilities, support of a child of the marriage entitled to support, or payment of attorney fees.” Thus, the issues that may be covered at a Temporary Orders Hearing are (1) temporary payment of debts, (2) temporary use of property, (3) temporary parental responsibilities and parenting time, (4) temporary child support, temporary spousal maintenance, and (5) payment of attorney fees.
- Temporary payment of debts refers to how a court can help order the payment of debts such as credit cards, the mortgage or rent payments, car payments, insurance, or other miscellaneous debts of the parties. The goal is to help maintain the status quo until the Final Orders Hearing.
- Temporary use of the property is an issue that arises when two parties are still living in the same home during the case. At a Temporary Orders Hearing, the court can order one party to stay in the home and order another party out of the home. Additionally, the court at a Temporary Orders Hearing can order the sale of the property, but only if there is evidence that the property will be lost if it is not sold.
- Temporary parental responsibilities and parenting time must be ordered and allocated per the best interest of the child as defined in C.R.S. 14-10-124 (1.5). A Temporary Orders Hearing can help decide on a temporary basis who the child or children stay with and how decision-making is defined between the parents on a temporary basis.
- Temporary child support can be ordered and ruled on at a Temporary Orders Hearing by C.R.S. 14-10-108 and C.R.S. 14-10-115. At a Temporary Orders Hearing, the court can order retroactive child support to the date of the parties’ separation, the filing of the petition or service on the Respondent, whichever is later.
- Temporary spousal maintenance may be requested at a Temporary Orders Hearing. There are multiple factors that the court must analyze in awarding temporary spousal maintenance. Some of the factors include the financial resources of the requesting party, the financial resources of the paying party, the lifestyle of the parties during the marriage, the distribution of marital property, the income and employment of both parties, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, etc. Additionally, the court shall consider the payment of family expenses and debts.
- Payment of attorney fees is based upon the immediate financial need of the requesting party. At a Temporary Orders Hearing, a party may request payment of their attorney fees and costs. The court will analyze the financial need of the requesting party to determine whether an award of attorney fees and costs is appropriate.
Remember that the goal of a Temporary Orders Hearing is to help the parties keep the status quo until the Final Orders Hearing. Also, remember that a Temporary Orders Hearing is temporary, it is not a final resolution of the issues in a case. The Temporary Orders Hearing can be and should be a placeholder for the issues in a case until the parties can come to final resolution at the end of the case.
If you are thinking about requesting a Temporary Orders Hearing or have a Temporary Orders Hearing coming up in your Family Law case, please contact the attorneys at Springs Law Group LLC at (719) 421-7141 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss the best steps in preparing for your Temporary Orders Hearing.