Standing Orders in Family-Law Cases
Family-law disputes can take months or years to resolve, but there are often important issues that must be dealt with immediately after a custody or divorce case is filed. As such, many Texas counties have standing orders that automatically go into effect when parties file certain types of family-law cases. If you are considering filing a custody or divorce action, it is important to understand how standing orders in family-law cases may impact your rights and obligations, and you should speak to an attorney before doing so. The Dallas family-law attorneys of McClure Law Group devote their practice to helping people navigate the emotional and legal complexities of family-law disputes, and, if you engage our services, we will help you strive for the best legal result available under the facts of your case.Standing Orders in Family-Law Cases
Standing orders are rules designed to protect the rights of people in family-law cases until a judge can rule on material issues. Essentially, they can require people to take certain actions or prohibit them from engaging in behavior that may adversely impact other parties in the case or any children involved. They are county-specific, but not all Texas counties use standing orders. In counties that have standing orders, a party filing a petition for dissolution or to define conservatorship and possession of a child must attach any applicable standing orders to their initial pleading.
Standing orders are most commonly employed in custody and divorce actions and typically address possession and access and property rights. For example, they may prohibit parties from selling, disbursing, or transferring marital property or cashing in, or altering life-insurance policies. They may also bar parties from removing children from the state, making disparaging remarks regarding the other party, or discussing the family-law litigation with the children.
It is important to note that standing orders are enforced in the same manner as other court orders. This means that parties can file motions to enforce standing orders if their opposing party is violating the orders. Additionally, the courts can hold people who violate standing orders in contempt of court, including incarceration. As such, parties should be wary of refusing to comply with such orders.Standing Orders Versus Temporary Restraining Orders
Standing orders are considered a type of temporary restraining orders (“TROs”), and standing orders and TROs frequently address the same issues. Standing orders differ from other TROs, however, in that most TROs must be requested by a party, while standing orders are automatically imposed on all parties in a case. Specifically, standing orders go into effect immediately after a party files a petition in a family-law case and remain in effect until the court either eliminates the order or issues a new order that supersedes the standing order or the case is final.
Additionally, pursuant to Texas law, TROs can only last for fourteen days, although extensions may be granted in some instances. Before the fourteen-day term of a TRO ends, the court will conduct a hearing at which it will hear evidence from the parties regarding whether the TRO should become a temporary order. Temporary orders remain in effect until they are modified or terminated, or the case becomes final.
TROs are typically more restrictive than standing orders. Specifically, TROs can prohibit a party from accessing children or entering a marital home, while standing orders generally do not impede such behavior.Talk to an Experienced Dallas Lawyer
In some Texas counties, standing orders establish rules immediately after a family-law case is filed, and it is critical for anyone contemplating filing a custody or divorce case to know what the orders require. If you need assistance with a family-law dispute, the experienced Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group can inform you of your rights and help you to seek your desired outcome in a discrete and efficient manner. Our primary office is in Dallas, and we regularly meet with clients for consultations at our Collin-County office in Plano. We help parties navigate custody disputes in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, and Garland. We represent parties in family-law cases in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties, as well. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200 or using our online form to set up a confidential consultation.