Initial Issues in Divorce—Frequently Asked Questions

A number of issues must be decided early in the divorce proceeding.

In many divorces, there are initial issues which must be resolved at an early stage of the proceedings, so both parties know their rights and responsibilities. These issues include, but are not limited to: temporary child custody, child support, parenting time, medical and life insurance, exclusive use of the marital residence, house payment, payment of debts, temporary spousal support, and injunctions. Many of these issues are often settled by negotiations between the attorneys and clients, and without the direct involvement of the Judge. In fact, the Judge will not make decisions about any of these issues unless asked to do so, where the issues cannot be settled through negotiations. Where the issues are settled, the Judge will simply sign a temporary court order based upon a stipulation (agreement) signed by both attorneys. The court order is temporary, because the divorce is not final at that early stage, and any of those issues can come up again at the finalization of the divorce, or before.

Some of the major temporary issues that typically arise are described in the following pages.

Continue to Temporary Custody