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What happens to my kids and assets while my divorce is pending?

Many people wonder what happens during the pendency of divorce. There are a couple things you should know.

  1. The first thing you do when you file for divorce (aside from filing your petition) is file a Motion for an Order of Status Quo. This essentially means that an ice block gets put around your kids. You (and your ex-partner) are required to keep the kids on the same schedule as they have been on for the three months prior to your filing the Motion for an Order of Status Quo. This means that if the kids were seeing the other parent week on/week off, they have to continue seeing the other parent week on/week off until further order of the court.

  2. The second thing you do when you file for divorce is file a Motion for Temporary Order. This Order controls everything for the next 6 months to a year while your divorce is pending. You can ask for various things in your Motion for Temporary Order, but in some counties, you are limited to the following:

  3. Custody of your children (again this is temporary until the divorce is final)

  4. Parenting time for the other parent (again, temporary)

  5. Exclusive use of the family home

  6. Suit money (this is usually for families where one parent was the sole breadwinner and the other party does not have access to money to pay filing fees and their lawyer).

Another effect of filing a petition is the introduction of a restraining order on both parties to the divorce. This restraining order is not like the "Family Abuse Prevention Act" restraining order that most people are familiar with. This restraining order is statutory (meaning it is in place because of Oregon law) and it essentially prevents each party from canceling or changing insurance policies (health, homeowner, or automobile), changing beneficiary designations, disposing of any marital property (including money)


There are some exceptions to the restraining order. You are permitted to use marital assets in the ordinary course of business, for payment of attorney fees, for payment of real estate and income tax, for mental health expenses for either party or the children, and for necessary expenses to provide for the safety and welfare of the parties or minor children.


Give me a call for a consult if you have any questions or need help filling out any temporary motion or status quo paperwork.

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