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How do ex parte orders differ from temporary orders in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2022 | Firm News |

Divorce in Michigan is full of complex legal proceedings. You may have heard of ex parte orders and temporary orders.

At first glance, these orders may seem very similar. But, while ex parte orders and temporary orders have some similarities, the purpose of these orders and the way they are issued are very different.

What is an ex parte order?

An ex parte order is issued without a hearing. The basis of an ex parte order is an affidavit.

Generally, the affidavits state that immediate help is needed for the safety of the spouse, children or marital property. This serves as proof that there is no time to hold a hearing before issuing an order.

Ex parte orders can be granted:

  • To stop a spouse from hiding marital assets
  • To award child custody to a parent when the child’s or parent’s health and safety are in jeopardy
  • To award child support
  • To order a spouse to keep contributing financially to the marital home

Ex parte orders are effective if the other spouse does not object to the order within 14 days of being served with the order. If there is no objection, the ex parte order stays effective until a new judgment is made.

What is a temporary order?

Temporary orders are issued after a spouse files for divorce. Temporary orders are meant to provide stability to the spouses and children until the divorce is finalized.

Temporary orders can address:

  • Temporary child custody and parenting time
  • Child support
  • Alimony

Either spouse can move the court for a temporary order. Unlike an ex parte order, a hearing will be held before a temporary order is issued.

Spouses can argue their case at a hearing for a temporary order. They can even call witnesses and submit evidence.

A temporary order must be in writing and signed by the judge. It is legally enforceable. Violating a temporary order can lead to serious consequences including fines or even jail time.

In the end, ex parte orders are meant to address emergency situations prior to and during divorce. Temporary orders are more to temporarily settle certain life issues while a divorce is pending. Both orders have their place in a divorce in Michigan and should be sought when appropriate.