Although the decision to end a marriage may be primarily an emotional one, there are often practical, financial, and logistical issues that may also need to be considered. In fact, concerns related to those issues can delay, or even prevent, a spouse from initiating the divorce process. A Murfreesboro divorce attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains how preliminary orders and injunctions can take some of the worry out of filing for divorce.
Common Divorce Worries and Fears
Wanting to get out of an unhappy marriage is one thing. Feeling prepared to actually do it is often an entirely different thing. If you married your spouse, you undoubtedly loved him/her at one point. Those feelings may have changed over time; however, you may still have lingering doubts about ending the marriage.
Even if you are 100 percent certain that divorce is what you want, you may be worried about the financial impact divorce will have on you and your children, if you have kids. If so, you are hardly alone. People stay in unhappy marriages all the time because they are afraid of losing the financial benefits they enjoy because of the marriage. For example, if you are a stay at home mom or dad you may want to remain in the marital residence but cannot afford the mortgage payment. The thought of your standard of living decreasing significantly after filing for divorce could be enough to prevent you from moving forward with the divorce.
If you are in an abusive marriage, you may fear immediate and dangerous retribution if you try to get out by filing for divorce. If you also lack financial resources, the thought of getting out of an abusive marriage can seem all but impossible. Knowing you may “win” in the end does not help you right now. Moreover, a vindictive or angry spouse could try and hide money and assets the minute you make it clear you are ending the marriage.
How Can Preliminary Orders and Injunctions Help?
The good news is that your options may not be as bleak as they seem. If you cannot support yourself and/or your children on your own, having to wait until the end of the divorce process to start receiving spousal and/or child support will not help you. Likewise, if you are trying to escape an abusive relationship you need protection when you initiate the divorce process, not at the end of the process. Fortunately, the law understands these concerns and can address them through the use of preliminary orders and injunctions.
The first step in the divorce process is to file a petition for divorce with the appropriate court. Your divorce attorney can also file a request for a preliminary hearing and/or a request for an injunction at that same time or shortly thereafter.
An injunction is a court order that takes effect when the divorce case is started and prohibits both spouses from doing certain things involving money, property, children, and insurance while the divorce is pending. This is intended to prevent one party from withdrawing marital funds, selling marital assets, or otherwise preventing a fair division of marital assets. A different type of injunction, referred to as a “restraining order” or “protective order” can also be issued preventing a party from violent conduct or from any contact at all with the other party. This type of order may also include the minor children of the marriage and can be issued immediately upon the filing of the divorce if the judge is convinced the need exists.
At a preliminary hearing, the court may also consider issues such as who will remain in the marital residence, whether spousal support is necessary at the moment, and how much child support should be paid. Although these orders take effect immediately and remain in effect throughout the proceedings unless modified by the judge, they are temporary orders. Ultimately, you may negotiate more or less support as well as a different division of assets that will be reflected in your final divorce decree.
Contact a Murfreesboro Divorce Lawyer
If you are concerned about the negative impact filing for divorce will have on your life, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro divorce lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.