This article will explain what temporary orders are in a Texas divorce case, outline some of the more common issues addressed by temporary orders, and give some suggestions on how to deal with temporary orders if they are an issue in your case.
Temporary orders are orders issued by the court while a case is pending that are usually entered in the early stages of a case to address essential issues that cannot wait until a final trial is held. The orders are truly temporary in nature, meaning the issues addressed could always be treated differently when the final order is entered.
What Kinds of Issues are in Divorce Temporary Orders?
Some of the more common issues addressed by temporary orders in a typical divorce case include:
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Exclusive use of the marital residence (in other words, who has to move out)
- Exclusive use of vehicles or other property
- Custody of children (which party will the children primarily live with)
- Possession schedule (AKA visitation schedule)
- Payment of bills, such as the mortgage or car notes
- Deadlines for the litigation, such as for discovery or mediation
- Injunctions that prohibit certain kinds of conduct (such as canceling insurance or withdrawing money from retirement accounts)
Unusual Temporary Orders
There are almost an infinite number of possible issues that could be addressed in temporary orders depending on the specific circumstances of the case. An example of an unusual but important issue that could arise is when a couple owns and operates a small business together. This will necessitate the need to address who will operate the business and who will control the revenue it generates.
Other issues could involve sale of real property or other property, how to handle other pending litigation (for example, if one of the parties is being sued in a separate civil case), how certain lump sum proceeds should be dealt with (for example, if a large bonus payment is due to one of the spouses while the divorce is pending), or any number of other potential issues.
In most cases a good attorney can predict what issues will need to be addressed in a case. If your case involves temporary orders you definitely should be represented by an experienced divorce attorney. It is all too common for one of the parties to be unrepresented and to either negotiate the temporary orders with their spouse’s attorney or, worse, to do a contested hearing in front of a judge without a lawyer representing them. Either situation is a serious mistake and one that could have a much more significant negative impact than they might expect. If you find yourself in this situation get a quality attorney as soon as possible.