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What is the difference between a “temporary order” and a “judgment”?

Produced by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp
Reviewed October 2019

You can ask the court to change both temporary orders and final judgments by agreement.

A "temporary order" is in effect while your case is going on, before the final decision. A "judgment" is the final decision. 

For example, in a divorce case

A "temporary order" can be about custody, visitation, or parenting time until the judge grants the divorce.

When the judge grants the divorce, they make a final decision about custody, visitation, or parenting time. This final decision, is a "judgment."

You can ask the court to change both temporary orders and judgments by agreement.

Important

You cannot change Chapter 209A Abuse Prevention Orders with a Joint Petition/Motion to Change a Judgment or Temporary Order.

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