In Arizona, spouses who are going through the divorce or legal separation process can request a temporary order of custody while waiting for their final arrangements.

Many times, even a relatively collaborative, uncontested divorce can take months to complete, simply because of the complexities involved with marital property, debt, children and other marital areas.

With a temporary order of custody, spouses and children may have more structure and stability during this time of transition. Often, a temporary order eventually becomes the permanent arrangement, should both parties agree to its terms.

Arizona Revised Statute 25-404 states that a temporary order can be put in place after a hearing, if the spouses can’t agree to the terms, or simply after the request has been approved by both parties.

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What do Temporary Orders Include?

A temporary order of custody can include just about anything that a normal order would cover. This includes:

  • Financial arrangements and responsibilities
  • Spousal maintenance, if necessary
  • Parenting time and legal decision-making rights
  • Residence of spouses and children

The exact terms of the order will depend on the situation of the spouses and children. The temporary order of custody is there to make the divorce or separation process easier, and anything that needs to be addressed can be discussed.

There are general ground rules and guidelines laid out by the preliminary injunction that’s filed with the initial petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The injunction prevents either spouse from taking actions that would negatively affect the divorce and its proceedings, including:

  • Selling, giving away or hiding community property
  • Taking children without prior consent
  • Harassing one another during the divorce proceedings

Temporary orders of custody are vacated once a divorce or separation case is dismissed or completed. Learn more about temporary orders in Maricopa County at the Superior Court website.

Emergency Orders of Custody

For emergency situations that require immediate attention and action, spouses can file a temporary change of legal decision-making or visitation without consent.

According to Arizona law, this can only occur when someone is “about to cause serious, immediate bodily harm to another person,” or if someone’s health or safety is otherwise in jeopardy.

This could include any number of situations, but the most common circumstances are:

  • When a child needs medical treatment
  • When a child needs to be immediately relocated
  • When a child needs protection (domestic violence)

You can find more information about filing for a temporary emergency order in Maricopa County here.

Get Help with a Temporary Order of Custody

If you need a temporary order of custody to provide your family with more structure during the divorce process, contact the family law team at JacksonWhite. We’ve helped families across the state deal with the legal and personal obstacles during a divorce, and we can help make the transition easier on you.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with attorney Tim Durkin. Mr. Durkin and his experienced legal team will evaluate your case and present affordable solutions that fit your needs.

Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.

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