After being served with an Original Petition in a divorce case, a spouse will often find in served papers a notice that a temporary orders hearing has already been set. Temporary orders basically are orders entered by the court for the pendency of the divorce that can protect a spouse, property or ensure the children’s well-being.
Temporary orders hearings frequently occur very quickly and early in divorce cases. In many cases, the hearing on temporary orders occurs even before the non-filing spouse’s deadline to file an Answer has expired. In fact, it is not uncommon that many of the temporary orders entered by the court eventually provide the framework for the final decree.
The Texas Family Code provides that a divorcing spouse can request a temporary orders hearing for personal protection or for the protection of property during the divorce process. In situations where a divorcing couple has children, a spouse can also request temporary orders for a child’s safety and welfare.
Regarding temporary orders hearings to protect property, a spouse can request that the court enter temporary orders that provide for the exclusive use of the couple’s residence by one spouse prior to entry of the final decree. This request must be accompanied with evidence supporting why such an order is necessary. Examples of such evidence include a concern that the other spouse will attempt to prevent her from entering the property or that both spouses having access to the residence will have a negative or disruptive effect on the children.
A spouse can also ask the court to hear a temporary orders hearing for spousal support. Temporary spousal support is designed to protect a spouse who stays at home, or makes significantly less money than the other spouse during the pendency of the divorce until the final divorce decree is entered. If temporary spousal support is awarded to a spouse, the amount of spousal support paid can be considered by the court when final property division is done at the end of the case.
A party in a divorce case can request the court to hear a temporary orders hearing that the spouse be given the exclusive right to manage and control property of the marriage. This can range from things like automobiles to firearms to pets – a wide range of property can be the subject of these orders which are in effect until final orders.
At the temporary orders stage, a party can also request from the court:
- Sworn Inventory and Appraisement of property;
- Appointment of a receiver to protect property;
- Production of Documents; and
- Attorney’s Fees to be paid by the other spouse.
Temporary orders hearings are very important part of a Texas divorce case. Having a responsive and prepared divorce lawyer is recommended to manage the quick deadlines involved in these hearings. Call Diana Larson at Larson Law for a free case evaluation at 713-221-9088.