What Are Status Quo Orders?
A status quo order is a type of administrative order that automatically applies to family law cases in many jurisdictions in Florida. These orders usually contain provisions that require divorcing couples to continue paying common household expenses, like utility bills and health insurance premiums. This can help ensure that couples won’t have to worry about these kinds of crucial services while a divorce is being settled.
Relocation of a Couple’s Children
Besides requiring both parties to continue paying certain bills, status quo orders can also discuss issues related to child custody. For instance, if a couple shares a child, they will be barred from permanently relocating from their current residence with that child. This prohibition doesn’t apply to temporary travel within the state of Florida, but only to long-term or permanent relocation.
Couples who share children and who decide to live apart while their divorce is pending could also be subject to the child support-related terms of a status quo order. For instance, in most cases, the parent with whom the child isn’t residing the majority of the time (non-custodial parent) will need to make voluntary payments to the other parent to help support the child. Because child support can be ordered retroactively, parents are encouraged to keep proof of any payments, like a signed receipt, to show to the court, demonstrating that they complied with the order.
Shared Parenting Guidelines
Status quo orders can also require parents to comply with specific shared parenting guidelines and to complete a parenting class. This means that the parties must:
- Confer with each other when making decisions that will affect the child’s welfare, including decisions about education, religion, healthcare, and discipline;
- Encourage and foster the relationship between the child and the other parent;
- Avoid interfering with the other parent’s relationship with the child;
- Be given access to records and information related to the children, including medical, dental, and school records;
- Avoid making disparaging remarks about each other in the child’s presence;
- Maintain a courteous and respectful relationship with each other; and
- Keep each other notified of the child’s special activities and events.
To learn more about the child custody-related provisions in your own status quo order, call our legal team today.
Disposing of Marital Assets
Status quo orders can also dictate how a couple goes about dividing up their finances during divorce. For instance, most status quo orders bar divorcing couples from concealing, damaging, or disposing of any assets, whether jointly or separately owned. Both parties are also prohibited from canceling any utilities, like electricity, water, or sewer services. Though both are permitted to spend funds on the necessities of life, they cannot waste jointly owned funds. Anyone who violates these orders can be sanctioned for wasting marital assets.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Office Today
If you have decided to file for divorce and have questions about the types of obligations you may have towards your spouse and children, call experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.