What can temporary orders do, and what can they not do?

| Jan 28, 2021 | Divorce

When you begin the divorce or separation process in Minnesota, you may quickly discover that certain matters are much more complex than you anticipated they would be. For these matters, you may require the court’s intervention before the finalization of your case.

Minnesota allows what are called “ex parte,” or temporary, orders designed to guide parties on matters pertaining to everything from child custody to the use of shared property. While temporary orders can be powerful tools during pending divorce cases, there are certain things they can and cannot do. Section 518.131 of Minnesota Legislature outlines what those things are or, more specifically, details “permissible” and “impermissible” orders.

Permissible temporary orders

If you bring a case for dissolution, legal separation, custody, child support, maintenance or the disposition of property, you may request that the court grant you temporary order for certain issues. The court will give the order serious consideration if it pertains to any of the following:

  • The temporary custody of your children and/or a visitation schedule
  • Temporary support for shared children
  • Temporary spousal support
  • Court costs and reasonable attorney fees
  • The temporary possession and/or use of the family home, automobiles, household items, furniture and other property, exclusive or otherwise
  • A temporary hold or restriction on the encumbrance, transference, disposition or concealment of property
  • Restricting one or both parties from vilifying, harassing, molesting, mistreating or restraining the liberty of the other or the parties’ children
  • Preventing one or both parties from moving shared minor children out of the jurisdiction of the court while the case is pending
  • Prohibiting one party from entering the family home or the home of another, related party

A temporary order may also require that both parties do everything in their power to facilitate a speedy resolution. On the same note, it may dictate that parties avoid actions that would hinder the progression of the case.

Impermissible temporary orders

A temporary order can do a lot, but it does have its limitations. For instance, you cannot use a temporary order to deny the other parent parenting time unless the court finds that the child is in imminent danger of physical or emotional abuse in the other parent’s care. The judge will not grant a request to exclude the other party from the family home unless you can show that there is a strong likelihood that the other party will harm other occupants of the home. Finally, you cannot use an order to vacate or modify an existing restraining order.