It's typically the first big step in any divorce proceeding, but what exactly is a temporary hearing in South Carolina? In most contested divorces in our state, a temporary hearing is held to allow the judge to get a brief overview of the issues at play in your case and put a temporary order in place to govern what happens until the case is tried.
When the Family Court in South Carolina hears your case, the judge will typically consider the following issues: child support, child custody, visitation, alimony / spousal support, use of marital property such as the house and vehicles, restraining orders (if the issue is raised), and attorney's fees and litigation expenses.
Judges usually do not hear testimony at temporary hearings. These hearings are very brief, typically lasting only 15 to 30 minutes, and they only involve information submitted by affidavit, including Financial Declarations that must be submitted by both parties. After reviewing all the affidavits, most judges allow for a short argument on the issues by the attorneys before making a ruling.
By it's very definition, a Temporary Order is only in effect for a finite term. Basically, it sets out the rules that parties must then abide by until the final hearing, which may be several to many months down the road. Pay particular attention to the phrase “temporary” – as nothing in the order is permanent until a judge issues a Final Order.
It's important to understand that the result of a temporary hearing does not necessarily indicate what the outcome of the final hearing will be. In other words, just because a party was awarded custody or alimony at a temporary hearing, it does not mean they will automatically win on those same issues at trial.
An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through the process from start to finish and help put you in the best position to obtain the best outcome for your case. The sooner you consult with an attorney, the sooner they can begin to assist you. You are welcome to contact our office at (864) 598-9172 to schedule a consultation.