In a Texas divorce either party may ask the court for temporary orders to protect the people and property involved. Generally most contested divorces seek temporary orders. It is far less common in uncontested divorces and divorces in which the parties lack representation by Bedford, Texas or Fort Worth divorce attorneys. Temporary orders are a critical element in the divorce process. Often components of the temporary orders will become permanent pieces of the final divorce decree. Presenting a strong position in favor of temporary orders may even be the single most important step in your divorce.
Types of Temporary Orders in a Dallas, Fort Worth, or Bedford, Texas divorce
There are a few types of temporary orders throughout the course of a divorce. It is important to understand the types of orders and how they are granted.
Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order:
A judge orders an ex parte TRO without notice to the party subject to it and without a hearing. The ex parte TRO restrains somebody from taking certain action. An ex parte TRO lasts no more than fourteen days. The Tarrant County judge may extend it for an additional period up to fourteen days. The court must schedule a hearing as soon as practical on extending the order into a longer running temporary order.
Ex Parte Temporary Protective Order:
This is similar to an ex parte TRO except it relates specifically to preventing domestic violence. If domestic violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future then the victim may request an ex parte temporary protective order. The ex parte TPO is enforceable with criminal penalties, unlike a TRO that is only enforceable through civil remedies.
Temporary Injunction/Temporary Order:
In family lawsuits, like Fort Worth divorces, temporary injunctions are typically referred to as just temporary orders. There is no meaningful difference to this language in a divorce. A TRO becomes a temporary order after a hearing and the court rules on the evidence presented. Once the Fort Worth judge issues temporary orders the TRO dissolves. The court may grant temporary orders that prohibit certain acts probable to harm people or property related to the divorce or require certain acts to protect the welfare of parties or property subject to the divorce.
Courts have broad authority to grant temporary orders and may address issues such as possession schedules for children, temporary child support, temporary spousal support, payment of attorney’s fees, who lives in the marital home, geographical restrictions on the children, how the parents interact with or in front of the children, protecting spending or transferring community property and so forth.
Like an ex parte TPO, the court may issue a permanent order protecting an individual related to the divorce from domestic violence when domestic violence occurred and is likely to occur. Much like temporary orders, the Fort Worth judge must hold a hearing before issuing a more permanent protective order. The protective order may stand independent of temporary orders issued or the divorce decree. A protective order carries criminal penalties, like an ex parte TPO, so violating a protective order is an easy route to a jail cell.