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Motions for Temporary Support, Time-Sharing, and Other Relief in Florida Divorces

The divorce process can be long and taxing. At times, it can take a few years before a couple finally enters into a final custody agreement, final settlement agreement, and judgment.  Accordingly, particularly if your case is contested, it may be in your best interests to file a Motion for Temporary Support, Time-Sharing, and Other Relief to have some structure until your divorce is finalized. However, prior to filing this motion, there are some considerations to take into account to determine if this is the best course of action.

What is “Temporary Relief”?

Motions for Temporary Support, Time-Sharing, and Other Relief are often brought early in a case prior to trial to set a temporary support and a time-sharing schedule until the case ultimately goes to trial. Anything set forth in a temporary order is enforceable until such a time as a superseding order or final judgment is entered. A Motion for Temporary Support, Time-Sharing, and Other Relief may commonly ask for one or more of the following forms of relief:

  • A temporary injunction prohibiting parties from disposing of marital assets for purposes other than ordinary expenses;
  • Temporarily requiring payment of marital debts (such as a mortgage or credit card debt);
  • Entry of a temporary support order; or
  • Entry of a temporary time-sharing plan.

An order for temporary support and timesharing in Florida may be entered by agreement of the parties or after a full evidentiary hearing. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement as to time-sharing during the pendency of your divorce, your attorney should work with your spouse’s attorney to memorialize this agreement in writing and both parties should sign it prior to getting the Order entered by the court.

What Should I Expect at a Hearing for Temporary Support and Time-Sharing?

If the court ultimately holds a hearing on your Motion for Temporary Support, Time-Sharing, and Other Relief, you and your spouse will both be given the opportunity to call witnesses to testify on your behalf and present evidence relevant to the issues at hand. This evidence may include documentation regarding both spouse’s financial needs, evidence of what the status quo has been during the parties’ marriage (particularly if the marriage is longer), and evidence regarding what is in the best interests of the child.

Can You Modify an Order for Temporary Support and Time-Sharing?

One thing a party should definitely keep in mind is the potential difficulty of modifying a temporary order. If a court sets a temporary order for support and time-sharing the only way a party may successfully modify this order is upon showing there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” In the context of modifying support, a substantial change in circumstances often is found to have occurred when one spouse is either laid off or receives new employment with a significantly higher income.

In the context of time-sharing, some common examples of of a substantial change in circumstances may include:

  • The parent granted time-sharing engages in immoral or inappropriate conduct (such as drugs or alcohol) in front of the child.
  • Purposefully tries to alienate the minor children from the other parent, or
  • Acts in an unfit manner that was unknown at the time the temporary order was entered. For example, if the parent starts mentally or physically abusing the children or starts going out every night and bringing home overnight guests.

Contact an Experienced Winter Park Family Law Attorney Today

It is difficult to determine whether pursuing an order of temporary time-sharing and support is the best route in your divorce case. If you are going through a divorce in Winter Park, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Cotter & Zelman, P.A. to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a temporary order prior to entry of a final judgment.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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