Family law courts enter three kinds of orders. A final order (usually a financial order or a parenting order) is the court’s final resolution of a dispute. A consent order is like a final order but it is entered at the request of the parties after they agree what the order should say.
The third kind of order is an interim order. This article will explain how they are used, why you might need one, and how to apply for one.
You might think of an interim order as a temporary order. They are entered before the court is ready to make a final decision in the case.
In a financial case, an interim order might tell the parties what property they are permitted to use or sell while the case is pending. It might also prohibit the parties from disposing of property until the case is decided.
In a parenting case, an interim order might decide where the children should live and what contact they should have with the other parent until the court is ready to make a final decision. Interim orders provide families with stability until enough evidence has been presented to the court to allow it to decide what is in the best interest of the children.
In most cases, you cannot apply for an interim order unless you have applied for a final order. To do that, you file an Initiating Application with a Family Law Court. The application will ask the court to enter a final order that provides for a property settlement in a financial case or that resolves disputes about child custody or contact in a parenting case.
After you have filed an Initiating Application, you can ask for interim orders. You do that by filing an Affidavit. The family law registry can give you the form of an Affidavit in support of an application for interim parenting orders. A lawyer can help you prepare an affidavit that has the best chance of persuading the court to enter the order you need.
The Affidavit should explain your need for the interim order. If your need is urgent, you should make that clear in the Affidavit. The court will then hold a hearing on your request as quickly as it can. In other cases the court will set a date for an interim hearing at its convenience.