In case the title of this blog post didn’t give it away, this is the second in a series of articles that the Law Office of Bryan Fagan has produced to introduce topics that concern Temporary Orders Hearings in Texas. Each post does not contain a single theme or topic but rather touch on subjects that are pretty wide ranging.
Let’s continue with today’s post which goes over information concerning witnesses, temporary custody of a child and visitation during the divorce.
Witnesses at your Temporary Orders Hearing
Depending on what court and in what county your divorce case is being held in, you may be able to have a witness or even two testify on your behalf. No judge will allow you to bring the entire town to come in and testify about how great a guy or girl you are but then again most judges will allow one witness to put forth testimony. Your Houston divorce attorney will most likely caution you against family members unless they have something extremely specific to say about your or your spouse.
The reason family members are typically not great witnesses is because they are inherently biased. A judge is looking for information that can help him or her determine the outcome of a case. Having your mother sit on the stand and tell the judge about what a sweet boy you are isn’t really going to tip the scales in your favor at all.
If you do have a witness that you think needs to testify, be sure to provide their name and contact information to your lawyer as soon as possible. This way your divorce attorney can contact the witness introduce him or herself and determine how best to utilize the witness, if at all. I always remind clients that this is their case and not mine- if they want to use a witness fine by me. However- the time spent questioning a witness can take away from other time that we could use to present more helpful information for the judge.
Temporary Custody of a Child
The most noteworthy aspect of child custody determinations during a temporary orders hearing in Texas is having the judge determine which parent will have the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child. In most instances both parents offer positive attributes to be able to care for the child on a regular basis. Obviously family violence, drug or alcohol abuse or neglect can negate the ability of a parent to given this right. Absent these conditions the judge will have to determine which parent should have the child primarily and what is in the child’s best interests.
What factors will a judge consider when making this determination? While this is not an exhaustive list, some relevant factors include:
- Who gets the child ready for school or day care?
- Who bathes the child and puts them to bed at night?
- Who prepares meals and feeds the child?
- Who provides the majority of the transportation for the child?
- Who is more in tune with the child’s medical treatment and regular doctor’s appointments?
- Who attends the parent teacher conferences and other school activities with more regularity?
- Who provides assistance with homework and school projects?
It is not an easy decision for a judge to decide which parent should have the right to determine where a child lives. It is probably the most difficult decision a judge has to make in a temporary orders hearing. However, being aware of what the judge will consider when making a decision can provide peace of mind for an anxious client.
Visitation during Temporary Orders
As a general rule, parents are able to set up any sort of visitation schedule they would like so long as both of them agree to it. The parties themselves understand the needs of their child and what is in his or her best interest better than anyone so this would stand to reason.
If the parties cannot agree to a visitation schedule then a court will step in and decide one for them. The presumption in Texas is that a Standard Possession Order is in the best interest of the child. For parents who live within 100 miles of one another, this means that the parent who does not have the right to designate the primary residence of the child will have the right to have possession of the child on the first, third and fifth weekends of each month as well as every Thursday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Holidays are alternated between the parties- Spring Break, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas Break is divided up in two parts: the first portion lasts from the day school lets out for Christmas Break at 6:00 p.m. and goes until December 28th at 6:00 p.m. The other parent has the child until 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday prior to school resuming. One parent has the first half in even years, and it alternates to the other parent having the first half in odd years.
Even when the parties have been ordered to maintain a Standard Possession Order it is still their mutual choice whether to follow it. Of course, you may be saying, if the parents couldn’t agree on a possession schedule in the first place what are the odds they come together after a temporary orders hearing? Fair point, but I am an optimist to my core. Sometimes a trip to the courthouse can bring sparring spouses together.
The Importance of Temporary Orders Requires Experienced Representatives
Make no mistake, a Temporary Orders Hearing is essentially a trial during the early stages of your divorce case. What is ordered on a temporary basis tends to be what is ordered upon final orders as well. With that said, having the right attorney by your side can make all the difference. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan represent clients in temporary orders hearings on a regular basis. To learn more about our office and the services we provide please contact our office for a free of charge consultation.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Preparing for a Temporary Orders Hearing in Texas, Part One
- Do I need Temporary Orders in my Texas Divorce?
- Temporary Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders in Texas
- Getting Ready for a Hearing On Temporary Custody Orders
- The Divorce Temporary Orders Guide
- Temporary Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders in Texas
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.