Temporary Orders are orders issued by the court to place immediate controls upon the relationship of the parties, the parties’ financial affairs, and child custody during the pendency of the divorce. Temporary Orders are legally binding. Violation of the orders can subject a party to contempt proceedings. A finding of contempt may result in a fine and/or jail.
In some divorce cases, the Temporary Orders hearing may be the only “court hearing” in the entire case. The balance of the case being worked out by the parties and their attorneys.
Temporary Orders can specify who will live in the marital residence, who will be able to write checks on what bank accounts, and who will have primary custody of the children. Temporary Orders can be issued voluntarily, by order of the court after hearing, or not at all. A hearing on a temporary order can be a relatively easy short matter, or it can be quite complex requiring multiple days. In Collin County, Texas the parties are strictly limited to 20 minutes per side for a Temporary Orders hearing – in almost all cases. In Dallas County, if a temporary order hearing takes longer than an 90 minutes a special setting is usually required.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on possession and access to your minor children, you will have to move for Temporary Orders. You have a right to be a parent to your children. If your spouse is currently refusing to let you see or contact your children, seek legal counsel. Do not attempt to force possession! Even if it seems like the fair thing to do. You can endanger yourself and your children, as well as jeopardize your right to custody in the future. If your spouse fails to abide by the Temporary Orders, he or she is in contempt, and can be ordered to appear in Court. If he or she doesn’t appear, a bench warrant can be issued, and he or she will be taken into custody. At the contempt hearing, he or she can be sentenced to jail, or have their assets taken to satisfy the Court’s order.