Separations and divorces are a time of great turmoil and disruption for everyone in a family. There are huge logistical questions that have to be answered, like the future of the children, your finances, and everyone’s living arrangements. Beyond these big questions are the raw emotions, fear, and anger that can manifest themselves in poor decisions, acts of revenge, and sometimes violence. The courts of Illinois are empowered with the discretion to render temporary orders to protect the parties from each other, from themselves, and to help normalize everyone’s lives throughout the divorce proceedings.
What Orders Can I Seek?
- Emergency protective order. If there is domestic violence by one spouse against the other, or violence involving the children, the court can enter an appropriate ex-parte emergency order. Violent acts that may justify a protective order are physical abuse, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, and harassment. Courts take domestic violence very seriously and understand the intense emotions and volatility that surround a separation and divorce.
- Temporary restraining order or stay. This is a standard temporary order that is entered at the outset of a divorce and applies to both parties. This prohibits spouses from committing domestic violence against each other. It also prohibits the spouses from removing the children from the state.
- Child custody and visitation order. A court can issue orders that establish who gets custody of the children pending the divorce proceedings. This will usually be the parent who has been the primary caretaker of the children. The idea is to create the least disruption possible for the children. The other parent will generally get a generous visitation schedule. The law encourages both parents to maintain active relationships with their children.
- Alimony order. The court may enter orders that one spouse pay spousal support to the other during the divorce case. This is because in the eyes of the law, a spouse should not become destitute as a result of divorce proceedings. Instead, courts will try to allow spouses to maintain a standard of living during the divorce proceedings as close as possible to how they lived during their marriage.
- Child support order. Obviously, courts want to minimize the disruption and change that a divorce creates for children. For this reason, child support orders are standard while the divorce is pending. Child support is paid for the benefit of the child and is wholly separate from spousal support. In addition to a fixed monthly support payment, the spouse under the order will typically be required to pay medical expenses, insurance, and education costs.
- The court can enter orders to establish the living arrangements of the spouses. This includes who will continue to live in the primary residence. If children are involved, the court will order that the children remain in the same home with the parent who gets temporary physical custody. The court may also order the other spouse to continue to make mortgage payments and pay bills during the divorce proceedings.
- Temporary orders may be entered that prohibit parties from disposing of, or depleting marital assets. Without these restraints, a spouse may empty a bank account, give lavish gifts to lovers, or sell-off valuable property for pennies on the dollar.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas today if you are contemplating a divorce or you have been served with a divorce petition. For more than twenty years, I have represented clients in contested divorces and understand how important it is to set the tone early and fight for my client’s rights at the beginning of their divorce case. Call my office today at 847-392-5893 to schedule a consultation or you can visit our website.