Vacanti Shattuck Attorneys

Understanding Temporary Orders In A Nebraska Divorce Case

Judge gavel on wooden table with paper and pen - symbol of justice and legal proceedingsIn this article, you will discover:

  • The purpose of temporary orders in Nebraska divorce cases.
  • Which circumstances typically call for temporary orders in Nebraska divorce cases.
  • The kinds of issues temporary orders can help alleviate in Nebraska divorce cases.

Will Child Support Be Granted During The Divorce Process Or A Separation Period?

In Nebraska, temporary orders allow the court to address child support obligations during the interim period of a case. While efforts are made to expedite proceedings, some cases that go to trial can take up to nine months to a year to be resolved. As such, these temporary orders provide a framework for the parties to abide by during the interim of the divorce proceedings and until the issues are permanently settled in the final Decree.

Child support in Nebraska follows state guidelines, which consider each party’s income or earning capacity and the custody arrangement or parenting time schedule, in addition to other costs, such as medical expenses and work related childcare costs. Depending on whether joint or sole custody is granted, (temporarily or otherwise), the court may also allocate child support for extracurricular expenses and other reasonable and necessary expenditures made on a child’s behalf.

How Are Temporary Custody Or Parenting Time Arrangements Determined During Divorce Proceedings?

In the event parties are unable to reach an agreement on custody and parenting time, those issues are determined by the Court based on the children’s best interests. While joint custody is becoming more and more common, every case is different, and the circumstances of each case may yield a different result.

If joint custody is awarded, depending on the age of the children, work schedules of the parties, and circumstances of the family, the most commonly ordered schedule would be week on / week off, or also what we call a two-two-three schedule.

In a two-two-three schedule, one parent may have Monday and Tuesday, the other would have Wednesday and Thursday, and the parties would alternate every other weekend, Friday to Monday.

When one parent obtains sole custody, parenting time for the non-custodial parent will depend on the children’s best interest and the circumstances of each case. A typical schedule might look like one night during the week and every other weekend to the off-duty parent. There are many unique circumstances, so schedule options are almost limitless.

What Issues Do Temporary Orders Address During The Divorce Process?

A temporary order can address an extensive range of issues. The most common issues include:

  • Child custody;
  • Parenting time;
  • Child support;
  • Allocation of expense sharing and provisions for the support and maintenance of the children such as unreimbursed medical expenses, childcare costs, and extracurricular activities.
  • Alimony;
  • Health insurance arrangements for the family and the children;
  • Payment responsibility for marital debt;
  • Payment responsibility for marital expenses;
  • Occupancy of the marital residence;
  • Restraining orders as to person and property;
  • Access to assets and funds as may be necessary;
  • And more…

Will The Court Issue A Temporary Restraining Order In Divorce Cases Where There Are Allegations Of Domestic Violence? How Does That Impact Parenting Time?

In cases involving allegations or concerns of domestic violence, it’s common for the court to issue a mutual restraining order affecting both parties. Moreover, if one party can substantiate claims of domestic violence, the court takes such allegations very seriously, especially regarding custody and parenting arrangements.

Given that parenting arrangements are designed to prioritize the children’s well-being and safety, allegations of domestic violence prompt the court to include specific provisions in the parenting plan to address these concerns.

Ensuring the safety of the family and children is a paramount concern throughout the divorce proceedings. The court takes domestic abuse claims into careful consideration when determining parenting plans and scheduling parenting time in alignment with the children’s best interests.

What Documents Or Evidence Do I Need To Provide When Requesting Temporary Orders?

Many times, a lot of the evidence needed to support a request for temporary orders can include text communications, emails, pictures, as well as statements and allegations made by the parties. Any evidence supporting a party’s request for temporary relief, which addresses the best interests of the children, will be persuasive.

Other items such as financial statements, income information, and any other evidence to support a party’s request for custody and parenting time will be helpful and necessary.

If you are requesting temporary orders based on an allegation of unfitness of the other parent, evidence to prove or substantiate the allegations being made will be helpful when addressing these issues with the court at a temporary hearing. Some of the typical documentation provided in these situations includes:

  • Records of any arrests or criminal charges;
  • Evidence of drug and alcohol abuse;
  • Evidence of domestic violence;
  • School / truancy records;
  • And more…

How Long Does It Typically Take For The Court To Issue Temporary Orders After They’ve Been Requested?

Once a motion for temporary orders is filed, a typical timeline for the hearing would be about two to four weeks out, but this depends on the county and Judge’s docket / availability.

After the hearing, an order can be issued and given by the court shortly thereafter. While the timeline for a hearing date and issuance of an order varies, temporary hearings are meant to be a quick process and allow for prompt temporary relief during the interim of the divorce case.

Can I Modify Or Appeal Temporary Orders If My Circumstances Change After They’ve Been Issued?

A temporary order is designed to have a limited reach. It is not a final order, so it cannot be appealed – you can only appeal final orders. Some Judges will allow for a further temporary hearing in the instances when circumstances have substantially changed. However, the general rule in many courts (and with many Judges) is that a second temporary hearing is not allowed.

Of course, as with other aspects of life, there is an exception to this rule. If you or your spouse have experienced a significant change in circumstances, many Judges will entertain and allow a second motion for temporary orders, especially when it impacts the children’s best interests.

Keep in mind, the purpose of the initial temporary hearing is to avoid issues with changes in circumstances down the road. As such, initial temporary hearings set guidelines that may fill the gaps when further changes to temporary orders aren’t an option. This is very important to note and is precisely why it’s crucial to identify all the issues in the initial hearing to address your specific circumstances and any contingencies that may arise along the way.

Do Both Parties Have The Opportunity To Present Their Side Of The Case When Requesting Temporary Orders?

Temporary hearings typically occur through affidavits (written statement provided under oath) and argument of counsel. These hearings often take place in a Judge’s chambers with only the attorneys and the Judge present.

Before the hearing, each party submits affidavits, which are sworn statements outlining their specific requests to the court. These requests may detail what each parent is seeking and why they believe it’s appropriate or in the children’s best interests. The procedures for submitting affidavits and the timeline for doing so can vary based on local rules of each county, but the courts will allow for affidavits from both parties to be submitted and hear arguments from each party’s respective counsel.

Do Temporary Orders Automatically Become Part Of The Final Divorce Decree? Or Do They Expire Once The Divorce Is Finalized?

Temporary orders do not automatically carry over into the final divorce Decree. Unless explicitly stated otherwise or merged into the final Decree by order of the court or agreement of the parties, temporary orders typically expire once the divorce is finalized.

However, expenses owed by one party under the temporary order, such as child support or children’s expenses, can often be incorporated in the final Decree. This provision effectively merges any outstanding judgments or obligations from the temporary order into the final Decree.

By merging payment obligations, any amounts owed by one party are preserved, ensuring that once the divorce is finalized, any outstanding obligations from the temporary order are still enforceable.

For more information on Temporary Orders In A Nebraska Divorce Case, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (402) 235-6070 today.

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