Temporary Order Can Set the Tone for a Divorce or Paternity Case
Video Transcribed: They’re only temporary orders in Oklahoma, they’re not forever, I shouldn’t worry, right? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a father’s rights attorney in Tulsa with dads.law, where fathers are not disposable. And I’d like to talk to you guys today about the importance of your temporary orders hearing and why it can set the tone for the rest of your custody case, whether it’s divorce or paternity.
So, to start with, in Tulsa County you don’t get a temporary orders hearing right out of the shoot. Before you get there in new paternity or a new divorce, you always have to go through the Planned Parenting Conference, which is a local rule.
And basically, you go there and watch some educational videos that are designed to help you as much as you can assist your child in dealing with the new reality that they find themselves facing. After that, you get a referral for a temporary orders hearing. And it can take a little while to get in there, to get that set.
Now, the only exception to that is if you’re talking about a situation where there’s an emergency, well, obviously that’s going to get heard immediately, but otherwise temporary orders take a little while.
Once you go to temporary orders, this is your opportunity, if you’re not already the physical custodian to establish to the court why you should have as much time as she gets, or maybe more.
The importance with that is, first of all, you should understand in Tulsa County, at least you only get one bite at the apple, you get one temporary order hearing. And if you don’t get the custodial arrangements you want there, then the next step is trial.
Now, there are some rural counties and judges that will give you a second temporary orders hearing and let you modify it. But you don’t necessarily want to have to do that anyway because it gets costly and it’s better just to get it done right the first time.
Now, the reason it’s important to get it done right the first time though, is that’s going to be the custodial and visitation arrangement for the pendency of your divorce, or your paternity case, or whatever.
Until the court gets around to either you get a settlement or you get around to having a trial. And sometimes that could be enforced for short times, sometimes it’s enforced for a long time before you get to that final order.
And what that means is it’s an opportunity to set up a status quo or a baseline of, this is what you’ve been doing, this is what the child is used to. And that’s important to us in best interests consideration, which is always what the court’s going to look at when it’s determining what to do with child custody, child visitation, child support.
So in other words, you want to get a real good arrangement and something you’re at least reasonably happy with at temporary orders because that’s going to be the baseline the court will use to determine what happens with the final order.
Now, that’s not to say that the final order can’t be something different. But if you take a temporary order with limited visitation, and then you go back later and are trying to ask for expanded visitation, the problem comes down to the courts going to see that temporary order as the baseline.
And if a lot of time passes on that order, it creates more and more of a status quo for the court that then you’re going to be in the position of having to try to rebut that and argue with the court, “Yeah, but here’s why you should disrupt that.” Now the inverse is true too.
If you get the order you want and she’s trying to disrupt it, it puts you in a much stronger position with the judge to say, “Judge, we’ve been doing this for this many months, it’s working, why would we disrupt this for the kids?” So, that’s why it’s really important, you want to get a good order.
And if you’re in a situation where there are negotiations going on, you want to have someone on your side who knows the judge well enough to be able to tell you, this is what’s likely to happen if we proceed, this is a good deal, this is a bad deal, and why.
And you also want to don’t be afraid in the right situation to stand up and say, “No, I’m not taking it every other weekend, I want more, I want joint custody,” And then go argue for it, because the likelihood is if there’s nothing really bad that can be brought out against you.
Every other weekend is frequently going to be the fallback position the court goes to anyway. It’s not always, but it often it is. And you could potentially get more time than that if you argue it successfully.
So again, understand what you’re dealing with. Now, obviously, each case is unique and you don’t want to just say automatically, I’m going to decline something without knowing the particulars of your case and talking with an expert. And if you need to talk to an expert, one option would be for you to go to dads.law and talk to us.