Houston Lawyers for Temporary Divorce Orders
Temporary Orders for Support & Custody
In divorce and custody cases, we can request the court to have a hearing and make certain temporary orders on your behalf. The other side may also request temporary orders, in which case your divorce attorney in Houston could help you respond quickly and properly to such a request by the other side.
What Are Temporary Orders in a Divorce?
Temporary orders serve a wide range of purposes, but in general, temporary hearings, sometimes called show-cause hearings, serve the purpose of addressing:
- The arrangements for the children;
- The use of the couple’s property; and
- The payment of support.
The duration of the temporary orders may be for all or part of the time that the parties go through divorce proceedings. We believe that the temporary order stage of a divorce or custody proceeding is critical, and that correctly pursuing temporary orders can help you navigate a divorce more easily and protect yourself and family members while your case is pending.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our Houston temporary order attorneys are ready to help you prepare for temporary orders hearings and use the right strategy in temporary orders hearings to obtain a better outcome in your case.
Different Types of Temporary Orders During Divorce
During a divorce, the parties may need temporary solutions to address custody, spousal support and other issues until the divorce is finalized.
Temporary divorce orders often address:
- Temporary Child Custody: A temporary child custody order can establish custody of the child during the time the case is pending until a final order can be made in the case.
- Temporary Child Visitation: A temporary child visitation order can determine how parents share time with their children until the court can finalize a more permanent visitation order.
- Temporary Child Support: A temporary child support order can help a child remain financially supported during a divorce.
- Temporary Spousal Support: A temporary spousal support order can help a spouse make ends meet while the case is pending and until a final division of assets is made by the court. If a spouse cannot support themselves during divorce, a temporary support order can give the spouse the financial support needed.
- Temporary Use of Property: In Texas, the court may not divide property until the day the case is final, however, until that time, a Texas court may decide how individuals use property during the divorce, and may order that one spouse or the other shall have temporary use of certain property, such as the marital home or a vehicle.
- Injunctive Relief: Temporary orders often include temporary injunctions, that is, orders by the court for one or both parties to refrain from certain types of activity, such as hiding assets, doing things that make matters more difficult for the parties’ children, or incurring debt except for living expenses and other necessary expenditures.
What Is a Temporary Restraining Order?
A temporary restraining order, sometimes referred to as a TRO, is an order signed by a judge that can restrain specific actions by a spouse. These actions may include:
- Preventing withdrawals from bank accounts.
- Selling off property or assets.
- Harassing behavior.
- Removing a child from school or daycare.
In Texas, you can petition the court for a TRO for certain types of orders that would tend to preserve the status quo without prior notice to the other party, and the judge may issue a TRO without requiring you or your spouse to appear in court. But such TROs in Texas only last for 14 days. They can be extended one time if an extension is requested within that 14 day time period. This time limit exists because the law favors notice and the opportunity to be heard.
Temporary Restraining Order Hearing
The court will issue a TRO with a date and time for a temporary order or show cause hearing to be served on the other party so that both sides may participate in the hearing to determine whether a longer order—a temporary injunction—will be issued after notice and an opportunity to be heard.
This hearing is usually heard at the same time as the temporary order hearing. Our lawyers know how to orchestrate a motion for temporary orders and a motion for temporary injunctions—or a response and cross-motion to the other party’s temporary orders motion-- to best protect your rights.
Another crucial distinction to make; a temporary restraining order is very different from a protective order. A protective order is needed where there is family violence, including the threat of family violence.. If you need a protective order instead, or a protective order in addition to a restraining order, contact our attorneys immediately.
It is helpful to realize as you are facing the stress and worry of facing a court hearing that the court wants you to resolve these issues by agreement. The court will often encourage or even order you to attend mediation to try to achieve a settlement of your differences. It is even possible, occasionally, to settle not just the temporary orders, but the entire case in that early mediation. But even if the whole case cannot be resolved, our attorneys are skilled at the strategies that can be used at that early temporary orders mediation to set the case on a course for future success.
Filing for a Temporary Restraining Order
So what are the requirements for a temporary restraining order in Texas? The steps to follow to obtain a TRO include:
- File an ex parte motion requesting a TRO and stating the specific orders you are seeking;
- Take steps to have the judge of the court sign your TRO and set a hearing date for the show-cause hearing;
- Arrange for service of the TRO after it is signed by the judge;
- Schedule a hearing within the four week time period that the restraining order can be kept in force;
- Re-submit the TRO within the first 14 days to extend it another 14 days;
- Prepare for this critical hearing by gathering evidence, locating witnesses, and preparing to testify about the relief you want from the court, which may include temporary orders for custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and other relief;
- Attend court with your lawyer to present your case for the relief you are requesting.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we help Houstonians utilize temporary orders to pursue better results in and out of the courtroom.
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Each case is reviewed by our team to ensure we are crafting a case strategy that will help you achieve a satisfactory result.
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