In many custody cases, parties need the Court to make a decision on a temporary basis because the parties can’t agree on a schedule and can’t wait until the Court calendar allows them to present their entire case for a final custody order. In these cases the Court will enter an “Interim Custody Order” which is a temporary custody order to give them a schedule they can abide by until a final determination is made by the Court after a final hearing.
Interim Custody Orders in Bucks County
Many Bucks County divorce and custody cases take a relatively long time to be finalized. The Court hears thousands of custody cases each year resulting in hundreds of hearings. The Court can only hear so many cases at a time so the time between filing a custody complaint and having your case heard for a full hearing can be months or even over a year in some cases. This is especially true in highly contested custody cases. In such cases, the court will enter an Interim Custody Order after a short hearing that will remain in effect until the Court can hear the parties at a full hearing so they can enter a Final Custody Order.
For example, let’s assume parents of a 6 year old child are going through a divorce in Doylestown, PA. The parents are not on good terms and are at odds on every issue, such as child and spousal support, property distribution and alimony, and custody. Each issue will be heard separately and often by separate judges. Neither parent wants shared custody. Rather, each parent wants primary custody of the child and thinks the other parent should only get partial custody. In such a case, the Court may enter an Interim Custody Order based on what they perceive to be the best interests of the child, as well as the parents' rights, while the custody case is ongoing. This is not meant to be a final order, nor dispositive of what the final order will be but only a “band aid” until the parties can be heard at a final hearing, often after a custody evaluation can be completed.
If you have questions about Interim custody orders, custody evaluations or final hearings, feel free to call our office to schedule a consultation.