When you separate with the intent of divorcing, you are required to wait a full year before you can obtain a divorce under North Carolina law. During this time, a lot can happen and you probably feel like you have a lot more questions than answers. Fortunately, if you speak with a family law attorney, there are proactive steps that can be taken to get some answers.
If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement regarding the issues that accompany a separation and divorce, then it may be in your interest to pursue temporary orders to provide you safety and certainty. Temporary orders are exactly what their name implies: temporary. They are meant to fill the gaps until final orders are entered after parties either reach an agreement or go through the court system and have a hearing on the issues. Some of the issues that may be addressed via temporary orders include:
- Protective order. If there is domestic violence in your relationship, a court may enter a protective order that restrains a spouse from contacting, harassing, or being in the physical proximity of the other spouse or other significant locations, such as the victim spouse’s house, workplace, and place of worship.
- Temporary orders can dictate what can happen with marital property and who gets to live in the primary home during the pendency of the equitable distribution proceedings. Courts can also enter orders that prohibit spouses from disposing of, wasting, or destroying marital property.
- Spousal support. Courts can order a supporting spouse to make postseparation support payments to a dependent spouse until the issue of alimony is resolved.
- Child custody. Pending a final order regarding child custody issues, a family court can issue temporary orders regarding child custody and visitation. In the absence of an agreement between the parents, a court will consider the best interest of the child in deciding issues like who the child will primarily live with, geographic restrictions on moving the child, a visitation schedule, and who can make decisions for the child’s well-being.
- Child support. Parents always have a duty to financially support children, and this is especially salient during the uncertainty of a separation. A temporary order can obligate a non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. It can also dictate how a child’s health insurance, medical expenses, and school are paid for.
Contact New Direction Family Law
While separation, divorce, and custody issues can bring a sense of uncertainty into your life, a family law attorney can help you attain temporary orders to steady your shop. At New Direction Family Law, our attorneys are smart, experienced, and motivated to help you. You deserve high quality legal representation. Our firm serves Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit us at our website.
Carly G. Baker
New Direction Family Law