Temporary orders in Texas typically remain in effect during the pendency of a Texas divorce.
Temporary orders will cease to govern once a final decree is entered, the Texas divorce decree will then be the controlling document as to all property, child custody, child support and alimony issues.
A temporary order hearing in Texas often involves the family court judge establishing temporary injunctions that will create parameters for the parties’ conduct during the divorce and will continue until the final divorce decree is entered.
These temporary injunctions typically impose rules on issues such as how the parties will spend money, the conduct of the parties around the children, and the ways the parties will interact with each other during the divorce.
What Is the Difference Between Temporary Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders?
As discussed, temporary orders address important divorce issues on a temporary basis until a divorce can be finalized.
A temporary restraining order (TRO), on the other hand, is an emergency order that restricts certain actions for a limited period of time. For example, a TRO may prevent one spouse from performing certain parenting duties for a limited time.
Temporary restraining orders expire after 14 days. They are a quick solution until a court can hold a hearing to decide on a more permanent solution. Courts issue TROs when one party believes that the other party will engage in behavior that harms another. As a result, a court will issue a TRO without a hearing.
What Happens in a Hearing for Temporary Orders in Texas?
A temporary orders hearing in Texas is a full evidentiary hearing with testimony and documentary exhibits before a family court judge. The judge will hear the supporting evidence presented by you and your spouse before deciding which temporary orders are best.
The Texas Family Code provides that a divorcing spouse can request a temporary order 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.
For temporary orders involving child custody or a visitation schedule, the judge will decide based on the child’s best interest. Some Texas counties limit the time that each party has to present their evidence in a temporary order hearing. An experienced family law attorney is often critically important when you have to be efficient and streamlined to present the strongest evidence within the time limit.
Houston temporary orders may be agreed upon by the parties and entered with the court without the necessity of a hearing. If you and your spouse agree on what the temporary orders should be, you can avoid the process of gathering evidence and attending a hearing.
How Soon Does a Temporary Order Hearing Take Place?
A temporary order hearing in Texas can take place within a few weeks of a divorce filing or after more time has passed.
It depends on the urgency of the issues that will be decided through the temporary orders. Issues such as temporary child custody should be resolved as soon as possible. In this case, the temporary order hearing will probably occur soon after one party files a motion for temporary orders.
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 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.
If one party has requested a temporary restraining order, the temporary order hearing will be held within two weeks of the request for temporary orders.
This is because the TRO expires after 14 days, so the court will want to make a ruling on the subject of the TRO before it expires, and that ruling on temporary orders typically remains in force for the pendency of the case, until a final decree is entered.
Temporary Orders for Spousal Support
A spouse can also ask the court to hear a temporary order 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 the final property division is done at the end of the case.
Property Temporary Orders
A party in a divorce case can request the court to give them the exclusive right to manage and control the 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; and
Production of Documents; and
Attorney’s Fees to be paid by the other spouse.
What Happens If My Spouse Violates Temporary Orders?
If you think your spouse violated temporary orders, you can file a motion asking the court to enforce the temporary orders. The court will then determine whether your spouse did, in fact, violate the temporary orders.
If the court finds your spouse in violation, it can order a fine or jail time as a penalty for contempt. The court will also order your spouse to comply with the terms of the original order. If your spouse is in violation, they will probably have to pay your attorney fees as well.
It is important to speak to a family law attorney right away if you are seeking temporary orders in Texas. If you have a working relationship with an attorney who assisted you in seeking temporary orders, you will be able to act quickly in the event that your spouse violates the orders.
Need to Establish Temporary Orders? Contact Us Today!
If you want to plan your Texas divorce case, the place to start is with a call to The Larson Law Office at (713) 221-9088 to discuss Texas temporary orders.
Our lawyers are experienced in helping our clients deal effectively with their family law issues. Contact us today!