What Is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona?


A Temporary Orders Hearing is a court proceeding that occurs before your judge signs the final divorce decree. The purpose of the Temporary Orders Hearing is to bring some order to the case. The judge can issue orders that will be in effect until the case is over and includes, for example, such things as:

  • Child custody orders (now called “Legal Decision Making“)
  • Parenting time orders
  • Child support orders
  • Alimony (i.e., Spousal Maintenance)
  • Exclusive use of property, such as homes and cars, during the pendency of the case
  • Payment of the parties’ debts during the pendency of the case;
  • Payment of attorney and expert witness fees by one spouse for the other spouse

Several statutes address the court’s authority to order one spouse to pay the other spouse’s attorney fees.  It is important, therefore, to understand the laws to rely upon when requesting an award of attorney fees at a Temporary Orders Hearing as opposed to a request for attorney fees at the end of the case.
What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
You may read our summary of the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the Myrick v. Maloney case to learn more about the payment of attorney fees in an Arizona divorce case.

It is important to understand that the court’s temporary orders only last until the court issues final orders in the case.  When the court issues final orders, the temporary orders no longer exist.  In legal terms, the temporary orders are deemed to have “merged” into the Decree.

You should also know you will be given an insufficient amount of time to present your evidence at a Temporary Orders Hearing. You may receive somewhere between thirty minutes to one hour of which only half of that time is given to you to present your side of the case. You are given significantly more time to give evidence at the final trial of your case.  As a result, the final orders may be much different than the orders issued at a temporary orders hearing depending upon the complexity of the case.
If you are a grandparent involved in a grandparent visitation or grandparent child custody case, you should read our summary of the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the Lambertus v. The Honorable Gerald Porter case that ruled upon whether a judge has the authority to issue Temporary Orders granting grandparent visitation or custody rights before a final trial of the case. The case focused on whether the statute gave the court the authority to issue temporary child custody or visitation orders to a non-parent.

What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona

A trial court also has the power to modify Temporary Orders previously issued in a case; either before Trial or at the time of the final Trial. Normally, a modification of child support or spousal maintenance is only effective prospectively and cannot result in a change in the support order before the date the request to modify is filed. However, Temporary Orders are an exception, and the trial court may, at any time, change the temporary child support amounts back to the beginning of the case at any point in the case.  You should read our summary of the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the Maximov v. Maximov case addressing that precise issue.

Contact Our Scottsdale Arizona Divorce Attorneys

If you are in need of a divorce lawyer in Arizona, the family law firm of Hildebrand Law, PC is only a phone call away. Our attorneys handle all types of divorce cases in Arizona. Please call (480) 305-8300 if you wish to speak with our Arizona divorce lawyers or have additional questions regarding Arizona divorce laws.