What Are Standing Orders and How Do They Affect My Life During a Divorce?

Divorce—it’s like a rollercoaster ride nobody asked to be on. From navigating legal jargon to coping with the emotional upheaval, it can feel like a whirlwind of chaos. But fear not, fellow adventurers, for today we’re diving into the world of standing orders in divorce and shedding light on this often overlooked but oh-so-important aspect of the process.

Short Answer: Standing orders are like the unsung heroes of divorce, silently dictating the rules and providing a semblance of order in the midst of the storm.

Reasons to Keep Reading:

  1. Embark on a journey through the legal process: We’ll take you by the hand and guide you through the labyrinth of filing for divorce. From serving the other party to attending court hearings, you’ll be well-versed in the necessary steps.
  2. Unravel the enigma of asset division: Marital assets and debts—how are they divided? We’ll explore the intricacies of community property laws, equitable distribution, and the challenges of untangling complex assets.
  3. Navigate the maze of child custody and visitation: Children are at the heart of many divorce battles. Discover different custody arrangements, factors considered by the court, and strategies for creating a parenting plan that puts their well-being first.
  4. Demystify child support: Money matters, especially when it comes to supporting your children. Learn how child support is calculated, enforcement measures for non-payment, and the possibilities of modifying support orders.
  5. Unveil the secrets of spousal support: For some divorcing couples, spousal support, or alimony, enters the picture. We’ll delve into the factors determining eligibility, types of support, and the process of seeking or modifying spousal support.
  6. Embrace alternatives: Mediation and collaborative divorce offer a ray of hope amidst the storm. We’ll explore these alternative methods of resolving disputes and show you how they can pave the way for a smoother, less adversarial process.
  7. Decode the tax implications: Taxes and divorce go hand in hand. Unravel the impact of divorce on your filing status, deductions, and child-related tax credits. Pro tip: Maximize your tax benefits by seeking professional advice.
  8. Nurture your emotional well-being: Divorce is a rollercoaster of emotions. We’ll share coping strategies, support resources, and insights into the psychological aspects, empowering you to navigate the emotional twists and turns with grace.
  9. Unlock international and interstate complexities: Love knows no borders, but divorce does. Discover the challenges of international or interstate divorce, from jurisdictional issues to enforcement of court orders. Knowledge is power when traversing unfamiliar territory.
  10. Beyond divorce: The journey doesn’t end when the ink dries on the divorce decree. Explore post-divorce considerations, including modifying court orders, co-parenting challenges, and finding your footing in a new chapter of life.

So buckle up, dear reader, as we embark on a thrilling adventure through the world of standing orders in divorce. By the end of this journey, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and insights to navigate this tumultuous terrain and emerge stronger, wiser, and ready to embrace your new beginning. Let’s dive in!

Unlocking the Mysteries of Standing Orders in Divorce: What You Need to Know

Filing a divorce means that your life, for some time, will be dictated by people, events, and rules that you have only indirect control over. One of the things that we take for granted, or at least took for granted, before this pandemic was the ability to make decisions for ourselves. Having autonomy over our lives and our children is a hallmark of being an American and a Texan. Getting up and go, making changes in our employment, and exercising our rights to determine the future course of our lives are benefits of living in this country.

Unfortunately, a divorce puts a temporary end to those sorts of rights. No matter if you live in Harris County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, or any other county in southeast Texas, you will become familiar with living under rules that someone else came up with. While you can play a role in developing additional rules to abide by, there are basic rules in place for divorce cases to provide some semblance of consistency and stability in your home for as long as the divorce case persists.

This is one aspect of a divorce that is frequently overlooked and changes you will need to become accustomed to if you enter into the divorce process. Most people in your shoes consider the changes to how they see their kids or the need to move residences as being the most impactful portions of a divorce. However, the need to adjust the way you live your life daily through the imposition of Standing Orders and/or temporary orders is another important component that deserves mentioning.

A divorce is almost like a game that you played with friends as children- and I don’t just mean that there will be a lot of yelling that goes on. I mean that there are two ways to play a game as a child: with pre-established and agreed to rules or with the rules made up as you go along. It may be a pain to establish well-thought-out rules at the beginning of a game, but it does make the actual gameplay more enjoyable more often than not. On the other hand, coming up with rules as you go may have been easier at the beginning game (no waiting around!). Still, it undoubtedly can create a situation where the gameplay is less enjoyable and more chaotic.

Now, let’s consider a divorce case. In the same way as a child’s game, a divorce can either be full of rules for you and your spouse to abide by or contain relatively few rules that help dictate behaviors. With so many moving pieces, a divorce is much more complex than any game you played as a child. Furthermore, the implications and consequences of a divorce are far more critical to you and your spouse.

A lack of ground rules can cause legal problems in your divorce. The failure to pay child support, household bills, and other issues like these can arise easily if you all have set rules on following through with payments for necessary items during your divorce. By the same token, your personal life can be thrown into a topsy turvy situation if you do not know what to expect from your spouse. Are they going to drop off your kids on time? How do you even decide how to divide parenting time with the kids?

Rather than asking yourself how to function within the divorce without any guideposts, you can look to temporary and/or standing orders for perspective and consistency in determining your actions. In today’s blog post, we will consider just how important Standing Orders are and what function they may play in your divorce case.

What is the standing order?

A standing order is a court order that goes into effect as soon as your divorce case begins. If you were to file for divorce, a Standing Order would be attached to your Original Petition for Divorce. Not all counties in Texas have standing orders, however. For example, Harris County does not have standing orders, but Montgomery County does. The same general principles apply to any county, no matter if they have standing or temporary orders. These orders are important and will be a part of your life and case from the moment they go into effect.

Counties with standing orders will likely have temporary orders that go into effect at some point, as well. It is up to you and your spouse to negotiate on the terms of your temporary orders, especially if there is an issue that needs to be addressed that is not mentioned in the standing orders. For example, you all may have household bills or other expenses that need to be detailed in temporary orders. That is no problem since standing orders are very general due to their need to cover several subjects likely to apply in a wide range of divorce cases.

Standing orders typically cover a range of topics. Children are probably the most frequently cited topic, followed by property provisions. For the remainder of today’s blog post, I would like to walk you through some aspects of a typical standing order that you may encounter in your divorce case. Remember that your county may not have standing orders, or your county’s standing orders may not cover these topics. It is best to speak with an attorney, like one with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, who has experience handling divorce cases in your area, to gain a better understanding of what you will likely encounter for your divorce.

Leave them, kids, alone!

To steal a lyric from Pink Floyd, courts typically do not want the parents of children doing anything to disturb them while they are learning in school. Your children will have a tough enough time as it is adjusting to all of the changes that come with your divorce. With that said, you will not be able to take your children outside of the State of Texas for any reason once the divorce begins. This will allow the kids to maintain some degree of stability and consistency in their lives and prevent disruptions in their education.

It is possible that with your spouse’s agreement, you would be able to take the kids on a trip to see a relative or even on vacation during the divorce. Another way to get around this prohibition against taking your children outside of the bounds of the state of Texas during the divorce is if you were to get permission from the court to set the principal residence of your child in another state. I think this is pretty unlikely, but it is possible- especially considering how families in our area have in many cases just recently moved here for employment or other reasons.

Abduction of children during a divorce is not an uncommon theme. At least the threat of abducting kids is a threat that some parents will make when frustrated or upset by the events of a case. A standing order prohibiting your spouse from taking your children from you and not disclosing where they are is not a full-proof plan towards keeping the kids safe, but it is better than nothing. It at least gives your spouse something to think about before they make a bad decision to remove the children.

Finally, many standing orders that I am familiar with are specific in mandating that you and your spouse not use disparaging language about the other parent in front of the kids. I realize how easily nasty words can come out about a spouse during a contentious divorce. I have firsthand seen frustrated and upset parents say and do things towards their spouses that you would not believe. However, I would recommend that you stop looking at that person as a soon-to-be ex-spouse and instead look at them as a parent to your child. I can almost promise that looking at them from that perspective will improve the language you use about them.

Act nicely during the divorce

Another aspect of a standing order is to help ensure that your behavior is maintained at a civil level throughout the case. As I can imagine, people find themselves on the edge of sanity during a divorce. If you think this is an exaggeration, wait for your divorce to begin earnestly. It will test your patience and ability to get along well with others. Needless to say, some of the animosity (maybe most of it) is directed from spouse to spouse.

For that reason, many standing orders contain provisions that mandate that both you and your spouse play nice in the sandbox during the divorce. This includes using nasty language at the other person either in conversation, email, or text messaging. One of the most consistent parts of representing people in divorce cases these days is reading through printouts from text message conversations between two spouses. Consider what you type in a text message before you send it. I always tell clients to assume what your text will end up in front of a judge.

One aspect of behaving nicely for your spouse is not tracking their computer usage or emails or opening their mail. I know that this may sound like spy-type activities but believe it or not, they do become relevant in many divorce cases. Sometimes you will find a spouse who thinks they are slick and puts software on the home computer after moving out to track the keystrokes or web browsing. To avoid having this sort of issue brought before a judge, it is best to refrain from doing so.

Here is a real-life example that I consistently point to when I encounter a client considering some action that may get them into trouble during the divorce. I represented a client some years ago who worked out of state most of the year. He would come home on weekends, see his son, pack up clean clothes, and go out to work in another state. This was a routine that he and his family were used to. He worked in oil and gas and made a good living doing so.

Unfortunately, his wife decided to file for divorce while working outside the state on a month-long project. He was left trying to respond to a divorce, negotiate a settlement, and ensure he got a fair deal while living and working thousands of miles from home. During the divorce, he decided to surprise his son and come home early for the boy’s birthday weekend. He called ahead to make sure he was ok to come home where his wife and son were living to pack up some belongings to take him out of state. He got the go-ahead from his wife and proceeded to come into town.

When he got home, he found that his large gun safe (which he kept personal belongings, cash, etc. inside) had been tampered with. Tampered is not exactly the correct word. The safe had its keypad torn off. Inside the safe was virtually nothing but a few coins and some jewelry. This man had thousands of dollars in the safe (in cash) that he would use as an emergency fund if his wife needed money. Nobody else knew the password to the safe (obviously).

He frantically called me to say that he had money taken from him. He considered contacting the police but then thought to call a locksmith first. Maybe the locksmith could come by and offer some information about how the safe’s keypad had been cracked? When he called the local locksmith and gave him the address to his house, he said he had just been to his house to remove the keypad of a safe in their garage. His wife had hired the locksmith and broken into his safe.

I immediately called the wife’s attorney and had a talk with her about that. Eventually, she was able to speak to her client about what had happened, and the money was returned. This contentious divorce involved two spouses who did not see eye to eye on much of anything. It was unfortunate that this was happening in this way. I mention this story to point out a couple of issues relevant to today’s blog post topics.

First, you will be held accountable for your bad actions. Do not assume that you are as sly as you think you may be. Everyone is watching for things that could go wrong during a divorce. To this day, I still don’t know what possessed this former client’s wife to try and steal the money from the safe. I mean, ultimately, it was community income that she was an owner of. Going to those lengths during the divorce was not only silly but also violated the standing and temporary orders outlined in her case. Had she not returned the money, that was going to be extremely bad for her. We were planning on filing a motion for an emergency hearing with the judge to address the problem ASAP had she not returned the money.

For most people, the above example should give you pause before doing something that you know to be wrong or underhanded. Not only do you have your code of morals to concern yourself with, but you also need to consider how your children would view your actions if they knew what you were up to and how a judge will view what you did regarding any potential violations of orders in place for your case.

When it comes to filing for divorce, there are many aspects and subtopics that need to be considered. While the article you provided touches on the importance of standing orders in a divorce case, it fails to delve into several relevant subtopics. In this comprehensive article, we will explore these missing subtopics to provide you with a more thorough understanding of the divorce process and its implications. From the legal process of filing for divorce to post-divorce considerations, we will cover it all.

The Legal Process of Filing for Divorce

Filing for divorce involves a series of steps that vary depending on the jurisdiction. It starts with filing a petition for divorce, which initiates the legal process. The petitioner serves the other party with the divorce papers, and the respondent has the opportunity to respond to the petition. Court hearings may be scheduled to address various issues, such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support. Understanding the legal process is crucial to navigating a divorce case’s complexities.

Division of Assets and Debts

One critical aspect of divorce is the division of marital assets and debts. This process often involves determining what is considered community property and how it should be divided between the spouses. In some jurisdictions, community property laws dictate an equal split of assets acquired during the marriage. In other jurisdictions following equitable distribution principles, the court considers various factors to determine a fair division of assets and debts. Complex assets like businesses or investments may require expert evaluation to ensure a just division.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody is often one of a divorce’s most emotionally charged and challenging aspects. Parents must decide on custody arrangements that serve the best interests of their children. Different types of custody, including physical and legal custody, come into play. Courts consider factors such as the child’s well-being, existing relationships, and parental capabilities when determining custody. Creating a parenting plan that outlines visitation schedules, decision-making responsibilities, and methods of dispute resolution is crucial for maintaining stability and promoting the child’s welfare.



Types of Custody

– Physical custody: Determines where the child will live and with whom

– Legal custody: Involves decision-making authority for the child’s education, healthcare, religion, etc.

Factors Considered by the Court

– Child’s best interests: Court assesses factors such as the child’s age, physical and emotional well-being, relationships with parents, and stability

– Parental capabilities: Evaluates each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs and provide a suitable environment

Creating a Parenting Plan

– Establishing visitation schedules: Outlining when and how the noncustodial parent will spend time with the child

– Decision-making responsibilities: Determining how major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing will be made

Methods of Dispute Resolution

– Mediation: Involves a neutral third party assisting parents in reaching mutually acceptable agreements

– Collaborative divorce: Emphasizes cooperation and problem-solving through negotiations between spouses and their attorneys

Child Support

Child support is another critical issue that arises during divorce proceedings. It ensures that both parents contribute to the financial well-being of their children. Child support calculation typically considers factors such as each parent’s income, the number of children, and the custody arrangement. Enforcement measures are in place to ensure that child support payments are made, including wage garnishment, property liens, and the suspension of driver’s licenses. Modifications of child support orders may be requested if there are substantial changes in circumstances.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

In some cases, spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded to one spouse to provide financial assistance after divorce. Factors determining eligibility for spousal support include the length of the marriage, the income disparity between spouses, and the recipient’s ability to become self-sufficient. Spousal support can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. Parties can seek modifications to spousal support orders if there are significant changes in income or other relevant factors.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

While the article focuses on standing orders, it fails to discuss alternative divorce dispute resolution methods. Mediation and collaborative divorce are valuable options for couples seeking a less adversarial approach. Mediation involves a neutral third party assisting the couple in reaching mutually acceptable agreements. Collaborative divorce involves negotiations between the spouses and their attorneys, emphasizing cooperation and problem-solving. These alternative dispute resolution methods can reduce conflict, save time and money, and empower the parties to make decisions that meet their unique needs.

Impact of Divorce on Taxes

Divorce can have significant tax implications that should not be overlooked. Changes in filing status, deductions, and child-related tax credits can affect each party’s tax obligations. Understanding the tax considerations during and after divorce is crucial to make informed financial decisions. Seeking professional tax advice is recommended to ensure compliance with tax laws and to maximize available deductions and credits.

Emotional and Psychological Aspects of Divorce

Divorce is not merely a legal process; it also carries emotional and psychological challenges for individuals and their children. Coping with the emotional impact of divorce is essential for moving forward and rebuilding one’s life. Support resources, such as counseling, therapy, and support groups, can provide guidance and solace during this difficult time. Recognizing the importance of self-care and emotional well-being can contribute to a healthier transition.

International or Interstate Divorce

For couples facing international or interstate divorce, additional complexities arise. Jurisdictional issues, enforcement of court orders across borders, and adherence to international conventions, such as the Hague Convention on child abduction, require careful consideration. Seeking legal advice from professionals experienced in international family law is essential to navigate the unique challenges posed by these types of cases.

Post-Divorce Considerations

The article primarily focuses on standing orders and temporary orders during the divorce process but neglects to address post-divorce considerations. After the divorce is finalized, there are still aspects that need attention. Modifying court orders, addressing co-parenting challenges, and adjusting to a new life after divorce require careful planning and communication. Seeking legal guidance during this phase can help navigate potential issues and ensure a smoother transition.

While the article you provided touches on standing orders, it fails to explore several important subtopics related to the divorce process. Understanding the legal process, division of assets, child custody, child support, spousal support, alternative dispute resolution, tax implications, emotional aspects, international or interstate divorce, and post-divorce considerations are all crucial for individuals going through a divorce. By addressing these topics comprehensively, individuals can be better prepared to navigate the complexities of divorce and make informed decisions that shape their future.


Congratulations, intrepid reader! You’ve successfully ventured through the realm of standing orders in divorce, gaining a treasure trove of knowledge along the way. As we bid adieu to this captivating journey, let’s reflect on what you’ve discovered.

Short Answer: Standing orders are the unsung superheroes that bring order and stability to the chaotic world of divorce.

But remember, dear adventurer, divorce is more than just legal proceedings—it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions, complexities, and newfound independence. You now have the keys to understanding the legal process, navigating the division of assets and debts, and taming the beasts of child custody, child support, and spousal support.

We’ve shown you the path less traveled, introducing you to the wonders of mediation and collaborative divorce, and unraveled the mysteries of taxes, emotions, and the intricacies of international or interstate divorces. Armed with this knowledge, you are now equipped to face the twists and turns that lie ahead.

So, as you emerge from this rollercoaster, take a moment to breathe. Know that you are not alone in this adventure. Seek support, rely on the guidance of professionals, and embrace the strength within you.

Remember, life after divorce is a blank canvas awaiting your artistic touch. It’s a chance to rediscover yourself, redefine your path, and create a future brighter than you ever imagined.

The journey may not always be easy, but you’ve proven your resilience by diving into the depths of standing orders. So go forth, my fellow explorer, with confidence and the knowledge that you can conquer any challenge that comes your way.

May this newfound wisdom empower you to navigate the uncharted territory of divorce and pave the way for a future filled with happiness, growth, and new beginnings. Keep your spirits high, hold your head up, and embrace the adventure that lies ahead.

Safe travels, brave soul. Your next chapter awaits!

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