By Kristy Loyall
An Application for Temporary Order in an Oklahoma divorce is normally the first hearing set in a divorce action.
The pleading is normally filed at the same time as the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage but does not have to be. The requested relief is in addition to the terms of the Automatic Temporary Injunction that goes into effect upon the serving of the Summons.
The party filing the Application will set the Application for hearing. The hearing must be at least five days after the other party receives notice of the Application. Most hearings are set within three to five weeks of filing the Application, depending on the county and the judge assigned to the case.
What Does An Oklahoma Temporary Order Cover?
A Temporary Order is entered to handle the pressing matters during the pendency of the divorce action. The statue provides that the court can enter the following temporary orders in an Oklahoma divorce:
a. Regarding child custody, support or visitation;
b. Regarding spousal maintenance;
c. Regarding payment of debt;
d. Regarding possession of property;
e. Regarding attorney fees; and
f. Providing other injunctive relief proper in the circumstances.
The common property issues that are addressed are which party is going to be awarded possession of the marital residence, which party is going to be awarded possession of any automobiles; and which party is going to be awarded possession of any marital pets.
Subparagraph f above allows the court to rule on any manners that are proper and necessary in the specific case. Every case has different facts, so if there are specific pressing issues that need to be addressed then the court has the ability to do so.
Oklahoma Temporary Order Process
When an Application is set for hearing, the first thing that is normally done on the docket is the judge calls the docket to see what parties are present and if any parties have an agreed order.
Most, but not all, Temporary Orders in Oklahoma are resolved by agreement. If the parties do not have an agreement yet, most judges advise the parties and the Oklahoma divorce attorneys to put the matter on hold and go outside in the hallway and discuss what the parties can agree on and what matters need to be decided by the court.
If the parties can reach an agreement, they keep control of the outcome of the hearing. If it is taken to the judge, neither party has any control of the outcome. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the attorneys will inform the judge that the matter is ready to be heard.
The logistics of the hearing on an Application for Temporary Order in Oklahoma depend on the county in which the case is filed.
In some counties, the judges will not set the Application for hearing until after a pre-trial is set and the parties have discussed what issues they agree on and what issues need to be decided by the judge.
In other counties, the evidence is presented by way of proffer. This is where the party’s divorce attorney will state to the court what his/her client would testify to.
In these counties, if a party wants a traditional evidently hearing (where various witnesses are called to testify) that party must specially set his/her Application with the clerk. Depending on the county and the preference of the parties or the judge, the hearing can be presented by the questioning of witnesses or by proffer.
The agreement of the parties or the court’s order is recorded on a Court Minute if the parties did not request a court reporter. Each party is given a copy of the hand-written Court Minute.
The Oklahoma divorce attorney for the Petitioner normally memorizes the Court Minute into a typed order, which is signed by the attorneys and sometimes the parties, and then signed by the judge and filed with the clerk.
The Temporary Order remains in effect until it is either modified by the court, the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is entered, or the case is dismissed.
Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer
If you are a man facing divorce in Oklahoma, please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction to ensure your rights are protected. Cordell & Cordell has offices and family law attorneys located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and licensed to practice throughout the state should you seek additional information or possible legal representation.