When most people file for a divorce, they assume the status quo will stay the same–neither spouse will run up huge bills, sell off the hosue, or run off with the kids to another state. But in many counties, if you do not have a court order about parental and propety issues, either spouse can try to make unilateral decisions that can be detrimental to both parties. For instance, one spouse may try to sell off a car that is only in his/her name, try to sell valuable marital assets, withdraw large sums of money from the marital bank account, or take the kids out of state without the other spouse knowing. And the unfortunate thing is that, in many counties, there is very little in place to prevent them from doing so–unless you ask the judge in your case for a Temporary Orders Hearing on these issues.
A Temporary Orders Hearing is simply a way for one or both of the parties in a divorce to ask the judge to set down guidelines for how each spouse must act while the divorce is pending. In many cases, a contested divorce may last for 6-12 months, so having a Temporary Orders Hearing can be important to make sure that during that time, neither party is able to take unilateral actions that would be harmful to the other spouse (or the kids).
A Temporary Orders Hearing can be helpful in deciding…
1) Who has custody of the kids while the divorce is pending
2) What the visitation schedule will be for the non-custodial parent
3) Who pays child support and in what amount while the divorce is pending
4) What both parties can and cannot do with the marital bank accounts
5) Who will live in the marital homestead while the divorce is pending
Typically a Temporary Orders Hearing can be scheduled very quickly (typically within 14-45 days) so that the judge can prevent either spouse from taking extreme actions that would harm the other spouse or the children. However, even though these hearings are only meant to cover “temporary” issues, the truth is that these hearings are vitally important in determining what the judge will ultimately do at the final hearing in the case. For instance, in many cases, the party who gets primary custody of the kids at the Temporary Orders Hearing will be the one who also gets permanent custody of the kids at the Final Hearing. Likewise, in many instances if there is no change in either spouse’s income between the Temporary Orders Hearing and the Final Hearing, the amount of child support will remain the same.
Because of these factors, it is vitally important that you get an attorney to help you in your Temporary Orders Hearing. By having an attorney, you will be able to present your best case at this critical stage of the case and hopefully prevent any harmful or extreme actions being taken by a soon-to-be ex-spouse.
If you have questions about a Temporary Orders Hearing or any other questions about Family Law, give our Dallas Family Attorneys a call at 214-236-2712. We would be glad to guide you through this process and help make sure your rights are protected.