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Filing a Motion for Temporary Orders


A motion is a request made by a party upon which the court issues a ruling or order. The goal of temporary orders is to establish legally binding guidelines that will increase stability during a separation and the time leading up to the Colorado divorce or an allocation of parental responsibilities. By filing a motion for temporary orders, your attorney is requesting that the court grant orders for you to receive the following on a temporary basis until the Court can make its ruling in the final decree:

  • Maintenance
  • Allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (decision making responsibility)
  • Child support
  • Parenting time
  • The use and possession of marital assets
  • Payment of marital debts
  • Payment of attorneys’ fees and costs

In order for your attorney to file a motion, you must have a case pending before the court. You must have filed a petition for dissolution of marriage or a petition for allocation of parental responsibilities before you can request that the court issue temporary orders.

A court date is often set for temporary orders with the hope that both parties can agree, in writing, to the temporary arrangements. If an agreement is submitted to the court and becomes a court order prior to the hearing, then the court date is vacated. Temporary orders do not dictate what is contained in the permanent orders, as the scope of the temporary orders and the time allowed, is limited.

If the judge or magistrate rules in a manner that you think is unfair, most courts will allow your attorney to file a motion for reconsideration or a motion for review. A motion for reconsideration will allow you to ask the court to reconsider the ruling. You still maintain the right to a trial on all disputed issues.

When making an appearance in court, it is important to always act and appear in a manner that is respectful and courteous. When speaking to the judge/magistrate, you should refer to him or her as “your honor” or “this court.” If you disagree with what is being said, do not interrupt, but wait for the other party to finish and then ask the judge or magistrate for permission to speak.

Temporary orders terminate when the final decree is entered in your case or when the petition for dissolution of marriage or allocation of parental responsibilities is withdrawn or dismissed. The Court can also continue temporary orders to a date certain for good cause.