Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: How are Temporary Custody, Support and Parenting Time Determined in a Pending Divorce?

Upon filing for divorce in Ohio, the filing party or the responding party can request temporary orders from the Court regarding the custody of minor child(ren), parenting time, child support, spousal support and the payment of marital expenses. In order for the Court to issue any temporary orders regarding custody, parenting time, child support and/or spousal support, the parties must be living separate and apart at the time of the request. If the parties are still residing together, the Court can issue temporary orders regarding the payment of household expenses and debts. The process for requesting temporary orders and deadlines for responses differ between the counties. For this reason it is imperative to know the Court’s local rules and procedures in your county. Furthermore, if you and your spouse reside in different counties, the local rules of each county may impact your decision regarding where to file.

In Hamilton and Clermont County, Ohio, the requesting party files a motion and affidavit requesting temporary orders. Upon being served with the pleadings, the other party has 14 days to file his/her response to the request. Once the response is filed or upon the 15th day after the other party was served, whichever occurs first, the Court can issue temporary orders based on one party’s or both parties’ affidavits, without a hearing. If either party is unsatisfied with the order, he/she can file a request for a hearing before the Court, during which each party can present evidence and testimony regarding the changes they want made to the temporary orders.  Until the Court issues a new order, its original order will remain in effect.

In Warren County, the Court will issue temporary orders based upon a party’s affidavit on the same day the request is filed, so long as the request is made along with the initial complaint for divorce. As such, the order is issued before the other party has an opportunity to respond. Upon being served with the pleadings and temporary orders, the responding party may request a hearing with the Court and request changes to the temporary orders. This hearing is typically scheduled within 30-60 days of the request. The temporary order will remain in place until the Court issues a new order after the requested hearing.

In Butler County, the local rules require very specific orders in regards to parenting time and child support based on the circumstances at the time of filing. The requesting party files an affidavit with the Court and a proposed order at the time of filing, which is approved and issued shortly after filing. The responding party may request a hearing to revise the temporary orders. The Court will not order temporary spousal support without a hearing, and one must request a hearing date in order to request temporary spousal support.

Under any of the above circumstances, if the parties are able to reach an agreement regarding temporary orders, they can submit a proposed Agreed Entry to the Court for approval and adoption as a Court order. The goal of the processes for temporary orders as outlined above are to provide the parties with a relatively quick court order providing for the care and support of the minor children and to ensure that the parties can pay their necessary household bills while the divorce is pending when the parties are unable to reach an agreement between themselves.