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Family Law Research Guide: Temporary and Emergency Orders

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What is a preliminary injunction?

A preliminary injunction is an automatic order filed at the initiation of any divorce, legal separation or annulment action. A.R.S. § 25-315(A). The preliminary injunction shall be directed to each party to the action and shall direct the following:

  1. That both parties are enjoined from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling or otherwise disposing of any of the joint, common or community property of the parties except if related to the usual course of business, the necessities of life or court fees and reasonable attorney fees associated with the action, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.
  2. That both parties are enjoined from:
    1. Molesting, harassing, disturbing the peace of or committing an assault or battery on the person of the other party or any natural or adopted child of the parties.
    2. Removing any natural or adopted child of the parties then residing in Arizona from the jurisdiction of the court without the prior written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.
    3. Removing or causing to be removed the other party or the children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile and disability insurance.
  3. That both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.

What can I do if I need something not covered by the preliminary order decided as soon as possible?

If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties concerning such things as spousal maintenance, temporary division of property, child custody, visitation, or support, it may be necessary to obtain temporary orders from the court. Temporary orders can also be sought for the right to temporarily live in the family residence. A.R.S. § 25-315 (C).

Temporary orders

A request for temporary orders is made by a filing a petition for a temporary order. A.R.S. § 25-315. A day is fixed for the hearing and the other party is given notice of it. Notice is given by service of the order to show cause on the adverse party or the other party's attorney of record. A response to the motion should be filed and served by the other party prior to the time of the hearing. Many counties require the parties to file and serve financial affidavits on a form furnished by the clerk in cases involving temporary maintenance, support or attorney's fees. No temporary restraining order can be issued by the court without notice unless the court finds that irreparable injury will result without the order.

Forms and details about how to petition for a temporary order may be found in the Family Law Resources page.

Emergency temporary orders

It may be possible to receive an emergency temporary order. It is best to contact the clerk of the court for the county in which you wish to file and inquire as to how you may receive an emergency temporary order.


Last revised:  22 October 2008

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