When you file a petition for divorce, you may want to file a petition for temporary relief.
Things that can be requested:
There are two types of custody that can be awarded.
Joint custody. What this means is that both parents can work together and agree on most aspects of parenting their children. This includes jointly making decisions regarding medical treatment, religion and education. Courts tend to prefer joint custody and encourage co-parenting. That being said, even two great parents may not be able to work together, and joint custody is certainly not right for everyone.
Sole custody. Sole custody means that one parent makes all decisions regarding the care of their children. This does not mean that you necessarily think the other parent is bad, simply that you don’t agree or work together well when it comes to your children. This is also does not limit the other parent’s ability to see their children. Courts always want to encourage parental involvement by both parents. If there is a history of emotional or physical abuse between parents, sole custody should strongly be considered.
It is a good idea to put in place a parenting time schedule as quickly as possible. This should be fair to both parents, and take into account what is best for the children, not you. Having a detailed plan helps alleviate many arguments and prevents either parent from using the children to get at the other one. Keep in mind, this is a stop gap until you can either reach an agreement, or the court makes its permanent decision.
If you and your spouse make significantly different amounts of money, you can also request temporary support, either child support, or maintenance. In order to request this, you will need to provide as much information about your income and expenses, as well as the income and expenses of your spouse as you can. The courts have a specific formula they use, which your attorney can help you with.
The court can make a temporary decision about who can stay in the marital home. They may also provide temporary orders about covering the mortgage/rent and other expenses associated with maintaining the home.
If your spouse gets a temporary order the most important thing to do is follow the orders of the Court. Speak to your attorney immediately about filing a counter petition, or requesting the order be lifted if it is very unfair.