How do I support myself and see my children while the divorce is pending?
Since the divorce process may span many months, either party may schedule a “temporary hearing” in order to resolve urgent issues on a temporary basis such as the issues of temporary custody, physical placement, child support, spousal maintenance, and payment of debt. Temporary orders remain in effect until the divorce is finalized.
A Court Commissioner will generally preside at a temporary hearing. The Court Commissioner is essentially an assistant judge with authority to make orders in the divorce on a “temporary basis.”
Temporary orders are not supposed to have “precedential” value at the final hearing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in practice. A party that receives a favorable temporary order may have obtained a significant strategic advantage over the other party at the time of the final hearing. Legal representation at such a proceeding is strongly advised.
Any decision that is made by a Family Court Commissioner may be re-tried to a judge of the circuit court upon motion of either party.