Introduction to Temporary Relief | Florida Family Law | Legal Education


Temporary relief requests an order that “sets the stage” during a divorce on matters such as time-sharing, child support, alimony, and other marital assets. It’s like a mini-trial on some of the major issues. Paralegals may help draft these motions and need to ensure that all of the necessary evidence and paperwork are lined up for the hearing.

Review Florida Family Law Forms 12.947 to see what the motions and proposed orders look like.

Pretrial, temporary child custody and time-sharing determinations are subject to a different legal standard than a final custody determination. Temporary relief orders in family law cases “are among the areas where trial judges have the very broadest discretion, which appellate courts are very reluctant to interfere with except under the most compelling of circumstances.” Mullins v. Mullins, 799 So.2d 450, 451 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (quoting Pedraja v. Garcia, 667 So.2d 461, 462 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996)). This is because “[t]emporary relief hearings are abbreviated and the relief granted is not final, so the trial judge may revisit temporary relief matters in the final judgment.” Id. As we explained in Hoff v. Hoff, 100 So.3d 1164 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012), “in proceedings where trial judges are required to determine interim timesharing schedules, the limited nature of a temporary hearing and necessity for quick action by the trial judge require us to defer to the trial court’s exercise of its discretion and not pick apart a trial court’s order for technical infirmities.

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