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15 Quick Tips Regarding Filing for Divorce in Texas

Hey there, brave reader! Picture this: a roller coaster ride at an amusement park – twists, turns, loops, and even a surprise splash! Now, imagine that same thrill, but in the world of divorce. Yup, that's what we're diving into today. Buckle up and grab that virtual cotton candy because we're about to explore the intriguing realm of divorce with a twist – a restraining order!

Short Answer: Divorce can be a whirlwind, but when you throw a restraining order into the mix, it's like adding a loop-de-loop to the roller coaster. Get ready to unravel the complexities and quirks of divorce proceedings with a splash of legal drama!

Ever wondered what happens when marriage hits a rocky road, and the "D" word starts popping up? Maybe you're curious about how some couples manage to keep their cool even when the waters get choppy. Well, my friend, welcome to a roller coaster of stories, strategies, and surprises. We're diving deep into the world of "Divorce with a Restraining Order" – and trust me, it's a wild ride worth joining.

So, why should you stick around? Here's the scoop:

1. Mediation Magic: Ever thought of avoiding the courtroom drama and settling disputes like champs? We're talking mediation, and it's your secret weapon against an all-out legal showdown. Let's see how this magic trick can save you not only money but also your sanity.

2. Tug of Property Wars: Splitting up assets is like dividing a pizza – it's never easy, and everyone wants the bigger slice. But what if we told you there's more to it? We're delving into the art of property division and how financial contributions can turn the tables.

3. Custody Chronicles: Get ready for a heart-to-heart on child custody, complete with the complexities and considerations. It's a tale of joint managing conservatorship, sole managing conservatorship, and a sprinkle of what's best for the little ones.

4. Dollars and Sense of Support: When kids are in the picture, it's not just about their favorite toys. Child support calculations can be as complex as a Rubik's Cube. But worry not – we're breaking it down into bite-sized pieces.

5. Spousal Support Spotlight: Alimony, the word that makes some wallets cringe. Let's decode the mysteries of spousal maintenance, eligibility criteria, and what judges consider when they decide who gets what.

6. Safety First: Protective Orders: When the storm gets fierce, a protective order can be your lifeboat. But what's the difference between temporary restraining orders and the superhero-like protective orders? We've got your back on this one.

7. Divorce Drama for Business Tycoons: Complex assets? Businesses? Investments? It's not just a board game; it's a part of divorce with its own set of rules. We're spilling the beans on how professionals step in to untangle the mess.

8. Orders That Evolve: Modification Magic: Life's a roller coaster, and so are circumstances. What if your divorce agreement needs an update? We're exploring the magical world of modifying orders to match your evolving reality.

9. Keeping it in Line: Enforcement Essentials: Orders aren't just pieces of paper; they're legal commitments. But what if someone decides to take a detour? Time to learn how to keep those commitments on track.

10. Cyberspace Chronicles: Social Media's Role: Hold that tweet! Your online presence could be a game-changer in divorce proceedings. Let's talk about the dos and don'ts in the age of hashtags and likes.

Ready to dive into this whirlwind of legal adventures? From complex property division to co-parenting strategies, we're here to spill the tea on everything you need to know about divorce with a restraining order. So, hang tight, because the drama is about to unfold in ways you never imagined!

Divorce Drama Unraveled: Navigating Chaos with a Restraining Order

The next step after hiring a divorce lawyer, is to initiate a divorce in Texas by filing for divorce. A Texas divorce filings often includes the following two documents:

  1. An Original Petition for Divorce is always filed and
  2. Sometimes a Temporary Restraining Order

The person who files for divorce first is called the Petitioner and the person who is served with the petition is called the respondent.

Original Petition for Divorce:

The purpose of the petition is to give notice to the family court and your ex what you are asking for. This petition is a simple document that names the husband and wife and any children of the marriage and states that the petitioner, is seeking a divorce and the reason for the divorce.

The petitioner must pay a filing fee to the court, usually around $300. The filing of the petition begins the mandatory 60-day waiting period before the parties may divorce.

The Original Petition for Divorce is not a court order and does not establish anything legally. It is merely a request from the petitioner to the Court that they wish to have the marriage dissolved.

The petition may also be asking for other things from the court. The Original Petition for Divorce will general include the following basic information:

  1. Personal information about both parties: full names, last the 3 number of the Social Security Number, Last 3 numbers of driver’s license, and service address of respondent.
  1. Date of marriage
  1. Date of Separation
  1. Grounds for Divorce such as that the “the marriage has become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship” with “no reasonable prospect of reconciliation”
  1. One or both spouses has been domiciled in Texas for at least 6 months and a resident of the county for the last 90 days.
  1. Personal information about all minor children born to or adopted by the couple and whether they have property.
  1. What kind of Orders you are asking the Court to make in regards to the children as to rights and duties, visitation, and child support.
  1. Information about whether the wife is pregnant or not
  1. Information regarding assets and debts, including marital and separate property.
  1. Statement of what assets should be given to which spouse (bank accounts, real property, household furnishings, retirement accounts, vehicles, etc.).
  1. Information about the debts incurred during the marriage and which spouse should be obligated to pay each debt.
  1. Request for spousal maintenance if you are seeking spousal support
  1. Has a protective order been sought or is one in place

Grounds for Divorce

A Texas divorce petition must also allege a ground or basis for the divorce. It is one of the elements of a divorce lawsuit. If you do not allege a ground then a Judge cannot grant you a divorce.

Texas is a no-fault divorce state and most Original Petition’s for Divorce will simply state that the marriage has become “insupportable.” In other words, the divorce is occurring because the Petitioner wants a divorce.

A divorce petition may also allege grounds for divorce such cruelty or maybe adultery. Such bad acts can serve as a basis for asking the Court for a disproportionate division of property.

Divorce and division of property

Many people come into my office and announce to me that Texas is a “50-50” state. This is not true. Your typical divorce petition will say something like, “in a manner that the Court deems just and right, as provided by law.” “Equal” is not a word that is used. In many case the division of community property will be divided in a 50-50 split.

However, a 60-40 split is not unheard of, depending on the circumstances. Some divorce petitions will request a disproportionate division. The petition will go on to list various laundry list of reasons for the unequal split.

Children and Requests for Conservatorship and Support

Next, the typical divorce petition will identify your children and request the court to enter orders for their conservatorship and support.

Most Original Petitions for Divorce will plead that you and your spouse should be named joint managing conservators and that either your spouse or you should be named the “primary” parent.

In some cases, it may make sense to plead for sole managing conservator. This is mostly seen in cases where there are allegations of child abuse or neglect. Often these allegations will be supported with an affidavit describing why access to the children should be restricted.

Divorce Temporary Orders

Many times, an Original Petition for Divorce will include a request for:

  1. temporary restraining order and
  2. temporary orders after a hearing

A divorce in Texas cannot be finalized for at least 60 days after the date of filing and, if there are points of disagreement between you and your spouse, the process can drag on for months, even a year! Temporary orders establish a “holding pattern” while your divorce is being finalized.

Here are some things you can expect to be covered at a hearing on divorce temporary orders:

  1. Exclusive possession of the family home, automobiles and
  2. other marital property;
  3. Payment of bills and living expenses;
  4. Conservatorship of the children;
  5. Parenting time with the children;
  6. Support of the children;
  7. Drug testing;
  8. Psychological evaluations; and,
  9. Appointment of any other expert deemed necessary by the court.

If you are going to court for a temporary orders hearing, it is important to be prepared. It is not uncommon for a divorce case to drag on for several months. If that is your case, you may be living under those temporary orders a long time.

Attorneys’ Fees in Divorce

Most Texas Original Petitions for Divorce will also conclude with a request that the opposing party pay all attorneys’ fees incurred.

Generally, unless there is a clear income disparity between you and your spouse, you each will pay your own attorneys’ fees and court cost. However, if there is a disparity in income, courts will sometimes “equalize” attorneys’ fees at the temporary orders hearing.

Examples of a disparity of income include:

  1. One party in control of the family finances or if
  2. One party has raided the joint bank account and left the other party with no money

Divorce Temporary Restraining Orders and Standing Orders in Texas:

As mentioned earlier sometimes filed with the Original Petition for Divorce is a request for the court to issue a mutual temporary restraining order (TRO) without a hearing to facilitate maintaining the status quo until the spouses can reach an agreement or until there can be a hearing for Temporary Orders.

Generally, these requests are made in counties do not have Standing Orders. Standing Orders are Orders that automatically go into place after a divorce or family law case is filed. Generally, they include similar provisions as temporary restraining orders.

Temporary Restraining Orders Do Not Last

In most divorce cases, a standard temporary restraining order will be granted if it is requested by one or both spouses. There will be hearing date in which you are to appear in court. The purpose of this hearing date is to give you and your ex a chance to be heard before the court makes an order regarding Temporary Orders that will be in place for the duration of the divorce.

Temporary restraining orders are good 14 days once issued by the court and then it expires by operation of law. A TRO can be extended for another 14 days if requested by one of the parties. The idea of a temporary restraining order is to maintain the status quo until the temporary orders are in effect.

It is a Real Court Order

As mentioned earlier the Original Petition for Divorce is not a court order but merely a request from the Court on what the Petitioner is Asking for.

If the Petitioner has asked for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in their petition. Then A judge may grant their request if the Petitioner has also filed a proposed Temporary Restraining Order along with their request.

The rule is that for every motion or request there is an order. In this case the Original Petition for Divorce is the motion and the Temporary Restraining Order would be the Order. Much later down the road the Final Decree will also be the Order based on the Original Petition for Divorce.

A TRO is an order that has the full weight and authority of the divorce court behind it. If a party to the divorce violates a TRO, the court can hold that person in contempt of court. That may mean a fine, having the pleadings truck, and possible jail time.

One of the unique things regarding Temporary Restraining Orders is that they are issued ex parte, or without prior notice to you. Also, divorce courts require no proof to issue such orders and, provided it is in proper form, a temporary restraining order will be issued automatically by the divorce court, no questions asked.

Temporary Restraining Orders are Not Protective Orders

Some questions I get asked regarding a TRO include:

  1. Can I sleep at home tonight?
  2. Can I talk to my spouse?
  3. Can I use my credit card?
  4. Can I see my kids?
  5. Can my kids stay with me?
  6. Can I hire a lawyer?

A temporary restraining order is not a protective order this is a common misconception. Generally, a temporary restraining order it has more to do with maintaining the status quo and in most cases not to keep an individual from being around another individual or location.

A temporary restraining order is serious; you should review the order with a divorce attorney to help you understand exactly what you can and ca not do once you have been served with a restraining order.

What Does a TRO Do?

A typical Texas divorce temporary restraining order general restricts activity regarding:

  1. Conduct Regarding your children
  2. Conduct Regarding Property
  3. Preserves Documents

Your conduct towards your spouse and your kids:

  1. Do not use foul language when talking with your spouse, don’t harass her with e-mails, phone calls or text messages.
  2. Do not threaten him with bodily harm.
  3. Do not threaten your spouse with doing something that’s just stupid.
  4. Do not withdraw your kids from school or daycare.
  5. Do not hide your kids from your spouse.
  6. Do not move off with your children.
  7. Do not say bad things to your children about the other parent.

Your conduct towards your property:

  1. Do not sell any marital property.
  2. Do not alter any important documents.
  3. Do not give away property to your mother.
  4. Do not cash out your retirement, money market or stock accounts
  5. Do not cancel your spouse from health insurance coverage
  6. Do not spend money on anything other than:

Your duty to preserve documents:

  1. Do not alter or dispose of financial records.
  2. Do not intercept mail that isn’t yours.
  3. Do not wipe your computer hard drive clean.

Temporary Restraining Orders Allow

Even with a TRO in place you are in most cases allowed to:

  1. You may talk to your spouse in a civil and constructive manner.
  2. You may spend time with your children and even keep them in your care.
  3. You are allowed to spend money related to your business, your living expenses, and your attorneys’ fees.
  4. You may hire a divorce attorney

Divorce with Restraining Order: Navigating Complex Legal Waters

Divorce is never an easy journey. It's a tumultuous process that often comes with a myriad of legal intricacies and emotional challenges. Adding a restraining order to the mix can further complicate matters. In this article, we'll explore the multifaceted landscape of divorce with a restraining order, diving into various aspects that demand your attention and consideration.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

When the storm clouds of divorce gather, most people picture courtroom battles as the only option. However, there's a less adversarial path – mediation. Mediation offers a chance to find middle ground, resolving disputes outside of the courtroom. Not only does it save time and money, but it also helps maintain amicable relationships, crucial especially when children are involved.

Property Division Considerations

Dividing assets can turn into a legal minefield. Texas classifies assets as community or separate property, and understanding this classification can greatly impact the division. It's not just about who gets what, but also about the financial contributions made during the marriage that might influence the outcome.

Child Custody Arrangements

The heart of many divorces is the custody of children. Texas offers various custody arrangements, from joint managing conservatorship to sole managing conservatorship. Courts weigh several factors, including the child's best interests, to determine the most suitable custody arrangement.

Child Support Calculations

Children's well-being remains a top priority in divorce cases. Understanding how child support is calculated, including factors like income and medical expenses, is essential to ensure that children are properly cared for.



Number of Children

The total number of children requiring financial support.

Income of Both Parents

Combined income of both parents, determining support.

Medical Expenses

Costs of medical care, insurance, and special needs.

Educational Expenses

Costs for school tuition, books, and extracurriculars.

Childcare Costs

Expenses related to daycare or after-school care.

Extraordinary Expenses

Special costs, like medical treatments or therapies.

Custodial Arrangements

Time each parent spends with the children, affecting support.

Other Relevant Expenses

Additional costs specific to the children's needs.

State Guidelines

Following Texas state guidelines for support calculations.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

Spousal maintenance, commonly known as alimony, enters the picture when financial inequalities exist between the divorcing spouses. Texas law outlines eligibility criteria and factors courts consider when awarding spousal support.

Protective Orders

In some cases, a restraining order becomes necessary for the safety of one of the parties. Understanding the distinction between temporary restraining orders and protective orders is crucial. Protective orders are sought when safety concerns arise, ensuring a sense of security during the tumultuous process.

Complex Property and Business Valuation

Dividing assets can become intricate when businesses or complex investments are involved. Professionals like appraisers and financial experts may be called upon to ensure a fair distribution of these assets.

Modification of Orders

Life is dynamic, and circumstances change. Exploring the possibility of modifying child custody, visitation, child support, or alimony orders is essential to adapt to evolving situations.

Enforcement of Orders

Orders issued by the court must be adhered to. Non-compliance can have serious consequences. Understanding the process of enforcing court orders is vital to ensure the divorce agreement is honored.

Impact of Social Media and Online Activity

In today's digital age, even online activity can impact divorce proceedings. Being cautious about social media posts and online interactions is crucial, as they might be used as evidence in court.

Parenting Plans and Co-Parenting Strategies

Navigating co-parenting waters is challenging. Creating comprehensive parenting plans, including visitation schedules and decision-making responsibilities, is essential for a smooth post-divorce parenting journey.

Retirement and Pension Division

Division of retirement accounts and pensions demands attention. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) play a significant role in facilitating a fair division process.

Relocation Considerations

When one parent wishes to relocate with the children post-divorce, legal implications and requirements must be understood and adhered to.

Counseling and Support Resources

The emotional toll of divorce is undeniable. Seeking counseling services, support groups, and resources can provide much-needed assistance during this challenging time.

International Divorce Issues

If international factors come into play, divorce complexity increases. Addressing jurisdiction and enforcement of orders across borders is crucial for a seamless process.

Tax Implications of Divorce

Divorce can have tax consequences. Understanding changes in filing status, property transfer implications, and deductions related to alimony and child support is essential.

Parental Alienation Awareness

Parental alienation can impact children profoundly during divorce. Raising awareness about this issue and taking preventive steps is crucial for the well-being of all involved.

Legal Representation for Both Parties

Having legal representation is a must. Ensuring both parties have their rights protected through legal counsel facilitates a fair negotiation or litigation process.

Financial Planning for After the Divorce

Financial planning post-divorce is paramount. Creating a new budget, managing debt, and setting long-term financial goals pave the way for a stable future.

Emotional Well-being and Self-Care

Divorce takes a toll on emotional well-being. Prioritizing self-care, seeking counseling or therapy, and adopting healthy coping mechanisms are essential during this challenging time.

Navigating the intricate world of divorce with a restraining order requires knowledge, preparation, and a support system. By understanding these various aspects, you can approach the process more confidently and make informed decisions that shape your post-divorce life. Remember, while divorce is a chapter, it's not the whole story.

Strap In, You Fearless Explorer!

And there you have it, intrepid reader! You've just embarked on a roller coaster ride of divorce with a restraining order – twists, turns, and all the loop-de-loops you can handle. Just like that amusement park thrill, this journey is full of surprises, emotions, and a splash of legal intricacies.

Short Answer: Divorce with a restraining order? Brace yourself for a legal roller coaster ride with unexpected twists and turns!

From mediation marvels that save sanity, to the tug-of-war over property that might leave you speechless – it's all here. We've navigated child custody twists, dove into the dollars-and-sense of support, and even uncovered the secret world of alimony. And don't get us started on the dramatic protective orders that could put even a superhero to shame!

But wait, there's more! We've demystified complex property division, shown you how orders can evolve to match life's twists, and even given you the lowdown on the wild world of social media's role in the drama.

So, why did you stick around, you daring reader, you? Because life isn't just a straight path – it's full of heart-pounding moments that remind us we're alive. Divorce with a restraining order is one heck of a ride, and you've just navigated the twists and turns with style.

Remember, though the ride's ending, your journey is far from over. Whether you're seeking solace in counseling or strategizing your financial future, there's a whole world out there waiting for your next adventure. So keep those seatbelts fastened and your spirits high, because when life takes unexpected turns, you've got the tools to conquer it all!

Until next time, fearless explorer – keep riding, keep learning, and keep thriving!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Temporary Restraining Orders in Texas

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