Between the time you have served and filed your petition and summons and the time that you get your final divorce decree, you may wish to consider dealing with some of the issues of your divorce on a temporary basis.
For this, you will consider separation agreements or temporary orders. Separation agreements and/or temporary orders are usually recommended by attorneys. Naturally, it is far safer to set agreements in writing and safer still to have them incorporated into an order.
Temporary orders and separation agreements frequently deal with the following issues:
- Use of Property
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Payment of debts
- Parenting plan
- Restraining orders
Note that some counties have automatic restraining orders upon filing a divorce petition. King County has financial restraints. These orders can be changed upon a request (motion) to the court.
Issues concerning children are usually better dealt with in temporary orders rather than separation agreements. You should be aware of the fact that temporary issues can be dealt with on an emergency basis in appropriate time-sensitive cases.
For separation agreements, of course, both spouses must agree. Temporary Orders may be obtained by agreement as to their terms and then entered (signed by the judge) by agreement of both spouses. They can also be ordered by a judge after a contested temporary hearing.