Welcome to FreeDivorce.com.
Christina: This is Christina.
Ed: This is Ed. Today, we are going to talk about obtaining temporary court orders. This is a complicated matter and will require a number of videos. This first video is an introduction to temporary orders.
Christina: As mentioned in earlier videos, it can take as much as a year or even longer get to trial in a contested divorce case. Temporary court orders may need to be put in place to maintain the status quo until the case can get to trial. You can’t have two parents in a tug-of-war custody battle for a year while waiting to get to trial. Parents oftentimes need a temporary child custody order to be put in place at the beginning of the divorce process so both parents know exactly what their custody rights are while waiting to get to trial. Also, most people can’t go a year without a support order being in place because one party is going to need financial support from the other party. You may need a temporary child support order and/or a temporary spousal support order to be put in place while waiting to get to trial. You may also want to request that the court issue an order, at the beginning of your case, that tells your spouse to pay you a lump sum of money so you can hire an attorney to represent you. These are all examples of temporary court orders you may want to apply for at the beginning of a contested divorce case.
Ed: How do I apply for temporary court orders?
Christina: You can obtain all of the temporary orders I mentioned, as well as additional kinds of temporary orders, by filing a “Request For Order”, which is FL-300, with the court.
Ed: Can I find a copy of the FL-300 in our Court Forms Database?
Christina: Yes. You can find the FL-300 in our database that you can fill out and print for free.
Ed: Tell me more about the FL-300.
Christina: The court and attorneys refer to the Request For Order, FL-300, as an “RFO”. It is basically a motion requesting the court to issue various types of temporary orders. I am now going to describe, in very general terms, the types of temporary orders you can obtain using the FL-300. However, in later videos in this series, there will be much more detailed discussions regarding certain types of temporary orders, including information you need to know about obtaining those particular types of temporary orders.
Ed: Let’s go over the FL-300.
Christina: When you review the FL-300 form, you will see that there are boxes you can check to request the most common types of temporary orders. You can use the FL-300 form to request temporary child custody orders, temporary child support orders, and temporary spousal support orders. You can also use this form to request “property control” orders. For example, you may want the court to issue an order that gives you temporary use, possession, and control of property, such as the family home or a particular vehicle. You can also use this form to have the court issue an order that your spouse makes payments on certain debts. Credit card bills, car loans, and mortgage payments all need to be paid even though you and your spouse have separated and are going through a divorce. If the debts are not paid, your credit will be ruined and you could lose your house or your car.
Ed: Can the FL-300 be used to request an award of attorney fees?
Christina: Yes. The FL-300 can also be used to request an award of attorney fees and/or costs. For example, assume you have a contested divorce and you want to hire an attorney, but you do not have the money to pay an attorney a retainer. You can use the FL-300 to set a hearing at the beginning of the divorce and at that hearing, you can ask the court to order your spouse to pay you a lump sum of money so you can hire an attorney to represent you.
Ed: Can you use the FL-300 to request other types of temporary orders?
Christina: Yes. The RFO FL-300 also has a box you can check to request “Other Orders”. If you need a temporary order, but there is no box on the form for the type of temporary order you want, then you can use the “Other Orders” box and write in the type of order you want.
Ed: Can I use the FL-300 to obtain Domestic Violence Restraining Orders?
Christina: No. The RFO FL-300 cannot be used to obtain Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. If you want Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, you need to file a different set of forms. However, if you previously obtained Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, you can use the RFO FL-300 form to modify or terminate those orders. If you need Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, watch the series of videos on our website that cover Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.
Ed: Do I need to file separate FL-300 forms for each of the separate temporary orders I want?
Christina: No. You can use one RFO FL-300 to request multiple kinds of temporary orders at the same time. At the beginning of the divorce, you may need a child custody order, a support order, and an attorney fee order. You can use one FL-300 form to request all three of these temporary orders at the same time. You don’t need to fill out a separate FL-300 for each type of order.
Ed: What do I do with the FL-300 after I have filled it out?
Christina: After you fill out your FL-300, you are going to file it with the court clerk. You can file your FL-300 at the same time you file the Summons and Petition or you can file the FL-300 anytime after you file the Summons and Petition. When you file the FL-300, the court clerk will give you a hearing date. In later videos in this series, we provide more detailed information about how to serve the FL-300 and what happens at the hearing.
Ed: In the next few videos, we are going to go over things you need to know about certain kinds of temporary orders.