Temporary Orders in a Divorce
What Are Temporary Orders?
In Texas, before you finalize your divorce, either you or your spouse may request a temporary orders hearing from the court or agree to temporary orders. These temporary orders are sometimes necessary since divorces (especially if they’re contested) can take weeks, months or even years to conclude. Therefore, temporary orders may be necessary if there are issues involving children or the temporary use of property.
When Can You Request Temporary Orders?
In most cases, you can request temporary orders right away. However, some courts, absent an emergency, may request you and your spouse try mediation first.
Mediation is a formal procedure where you and your spouse will separately meet with a neutral third-party mediator who can help you come to a formal agreement. Mediations can last anywhere from a half day to a full day. This irrevocable agreement will get turned into temporary orders.
What Happens at a Temporary Orders Hearing?
Temporary orders hearings are like a “mini trial.” They can include evidence, witness testimony, and arguments by each attorney. Complicated cases may require the temporary orders hearing to last several hours or days.
To prepare for a temporary orders hearing, you will need to make sure you give the court any documents they require such as Financial Information Statements, pay stubs, or other documents. You should also be prepared with a proposed parenting plan and a summary of what relief you are requesting from the court.
At the end of a temporary orders hearing, the judge will make a decision on all the issues set before them. It is important to note that temporary orders are not appealable.
What Can Temporary Orders Include?
In a divorce with children, temporary orders can include possession and access of the children, what rights and duties each parent has, and child support.
Additionally, temporary orders can temporarily give possession of the marital residence, vehicles, bank accounts, or any other property belonging to you and your spouse.
Further, temporary spousal support may be included in the temporary orders if necessary as well as interim attorney’s fees, payment of debts, and any other obligations you or your spouse may have.
Finally, some temporary orders may need to include injunctions restricting you, your spouse or both of you from doing certain things. These injunctions may include the children and or/the property.
How Do You Obtain Temporary Orders?
IF you and your spouse are not in agreement about temporary orders, you or your attorney should file a motion for temporary orders to request a hearing.
How Important Are Temporary Orders?
It is important to note that temporary orders may set the tone for your entire case. For example, you do not want to agree to or have the court order something you don’t want ordered in the final decree of divorce. For example, it may be extremely difficult to fight for a different parent to have primary custody once the children have already grown accustomed to a certain routine and lifestyle.
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