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Temporary Orders: Maximizing an important part of your family law case

Certainly, several topics in Texas family law garner a great deal of attention. Rightfully so, temporary orders are among those attention-grabbing topics. Due to its occurring at the beginning of a family law case, temporary orders are extremely important. Before a trial or final mediation, temporary orders set the tone for the entirety of your family law case. However, temporary orders are a topic that requires some discussion due to their complexity. Therefore, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is here to explain temporary orders in Texas family law cases.

What Temporary Orders are

Quickly after filing a family law case, temporary orders become critical to the pace and attitude of your legal matter. For example, think about a circumstance where your temporary orders do not suit your family. In that case, your children and you are likely to be unhappy. This extends out to the rest of your life. After the temporary orders are set in your case it is likely final orders tend to look a lot like temporary orders. As a result, being able to effectively negotiate temporary orders is a meaningful skill to possess. 

Moreover, many attorneys do not place a proper emphasis on temporary orders. Instead, these attorneys put final orders and trial preparation on the front burner of your case. In the opinion of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, this is a mistake. Conversely, our team of experienced family law attorneys places a major emphasis on getting this subject right the first time. This helps you to accomplish your goals later in your family law case, as well. 

Defining goals in a temporary orders setting

Therefore, to accomplish goals you must first have goals. This means that thinking through your case thoroughly is an important step to take. Many people enter the temporary orders phase of their case with no concrete goals. Do not allow yourself to be one of those people. Despite what is going on in your life you need to set aside time for goal setting. Namely, a time when you are free from distraction. 

To put it another way, it is easy to wander into the temporary orders phase of a family law case. However, it is difficult to wander out of a family law case in good shape when you have not set goals for yourself. Namely, your goals need to be focused on your children, your property, or any other subject relevant to your case. Coming up with vague goals do you no good. Rather, you need goals that are measurable in terms of time and quantity.

Due to you setting aside time for goal setting several different things happen. For one, you learn your case better. The facts and circumstances tend to become jumbled over time. However, thinking through the issues of a case despite a challenging environment provides you with clarity. To summarize, do not look at your family law case as something to endure. Rather, approach the case with an eye towards goal setting and eventually accomplishing those goals.

Handling the temporary orders phase of a case 

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan take a proactive approach to all phases of a family law case. We do not believe in sitting around and waiting for your opposing party to make a move or decision. Furthermore, we aim to immediately start benefitting your life by taking an intentional approach towards goal setting. What do you want to accomplish in your family law case? Why are you involved in this case in the first place? We want you to understand how important this case is, and the stakes involved. 

Certainly, it takes time to arrive at goals that are worthy of your case. We do not want you to rush through this process. Doing so is not fair to yourself. Especially when there are children involved in this case you need to approach goal setting as a necessity rather than a suggestion. Eventually, your case truly comes together and makes more sense once you approach it from this perspective. 

Having questions about where to begin during the temporary orders phase of your case is natural. Not only do temporary orders impact the beginning of your case, but they also are usually very detailed. With so many ideas and questions in your head, it helps to have a supportive partner in this process. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is here to help you along the way. Because we have a great deal of experience in family law cases we have a keen perspective towards helpful details. 

Approaching temporary orders as a petitioner

When you are the petitioner in a family law case there are certain advantages to your position. A petitioner is the party who files a family lawsuit. This name comes from the reality that you have filed a Petition to initiate the family law case. As a result, you are on offense during the initial stages of your case. You must use this time to help you arrive at goals that are worthy of your case and your family. 

If possible, start to set goals for yourself and the case before you file the Petition. Whether you are involved in a child custody or divorce case there are worthwhile goals available. Your job is to understand what those goals are and to approach them with a plan in mind. The more planning you undertake before filing your Petition, the better off you will be. In short, do not assume that once you file your case your attorney undertakes most of the planning for you. Although your attorney does help you plan the case it is up to you to come up with the most beneficial goals. 

Once you have a roadmap of where you want your case to go be sure to meet with your attorney. Even if you have not yet filed your family law case it is wise to consult with experienced family law attorneys. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan offers free of charge consultations six days a week. 

Approaching temporary orders as a respondent

Being served with a family law case is difficult to process. There are certain situations where you would not see the case coming. On the other hand, the case is still difficult even if you see the writing on the wall. Being told that your marriage is over or that your co-parent is trying to win child support is not a fun experience. Moreover, there are costs and time that are associated with a family law case. All in all, it is surely a shock to your system when it comes to a divorce or child custody case.

Thus, being the responding party to a family law case (the respondent) is not ideal. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to improve your position in the case.  Typically, temporary orders come attached to a petition for divorce. This means that the court has approved many if not all the temporary orders asked for by your opposing party. Read through those temporary orders. Even if you have not yet filed your Answer or counterpetition you are still subject to those temporary orders.

Although your instinct may be to do something rash out of anger, you shouldn’t do it. A family law case is a fairly long process. Doing something out of the ordinary like that now sets a bad tone for the case. There are penalties from the court you would be subject to, as well, for violating a temporary order.

What do temporary orders usually cover?

Every family law is unique. Nevertheless, there are usually similarities between all temporary orders. Let’s begin with a child custody case, otherwise known as a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). These are cases which involve children under the age of 18. For minor children, the rights and duties associated with parenting are at the top of the list of priorities. Due to this, it is wise to have a plan in mind when handling conservatorship areas of the case.

Among the most important rights a parent can possess is the right to determine the primary residence of your child. The primary residence of your child is where he or she lives on a primary basis throughout the week. For many parents, this is something that matters a great deal. When there are cases that go to trial this area of conservatorship is among the leading reasons why. Being realistic with yourself and making decisions that are in the best interests of your child is sensible. 

Temporary orders in a child custody case also cover child support. Child support is payments made towards the financial support of your children. One parent (the custodial parent) receives child support while the other (noncustodial parent) pays child support. Child support is not typically set in temporary orders when your family law case is filed. However, after mediation or a hearing temporary child support is typically assessed.

Why ask for child custody temporary orders at the beginning of the case?

Child custody cases benefit from temporary orders for several reasons. As a result, it is a good idea to submit proposed temporary orders to the judge with your petition. This way the judge can review those immediately upon filing your case. The judge may choose to allow all, most, some, or none of the orders proposed. He or she will strike through orders that are not suitable. 

What you are left with are temporary orders that are good for up to 14 days. This is designed to get you through to a temporary orders hearing. This hearing allows both you and your opposing party an opportunity to present evidence in support of specific orders. Preparing for this hearing is crucial. This is not something where you can go in with no plan or goals and achieve good results. Rather, heading into a temporary orders hearing requires preparation and intentionality. 

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are uniquely suited to assisting you in a hearing involving temporary orders. Due to our experiences serving thousands of Texas families like yours, we know how to maneuver through these hearings. Additionally, we know that preparation before the hearing is where real progress is made. 

Think of temporary orders as ground rules for your case

Needless to say, a temporary orders hearing is stressful. As a result, that stress turns what is already an important matter into a situation ripe with frustration. You and your opposing party may not act like yourselves in your case. Do not be surprised to tell yourself that you can’t believe your opposing party is acting in a certain way. Even spouses married for decades tend to notice their spouse acting out of character during a family law case

Thus, temporary orders are laid out at the beginning of a family law case. These temporary orders exist to moderate behavior. Nevertheless, even temporary orders sometimes fail to control people’s baser instincts. For this, there are remedies like enforcement hearings geared toward accountability towards temporary orders. Do not lose track of these orders during the case, in other words. Moreover, your opposing party may watch for these temporary orders to ensure that no violations occur. 

Of course, in most cases, temporary orders do not ask for anything out of the ordinary. It is not as if temporary orders ask you to act in a way that is anything but civil and respectful. Now that we have a better idea of what temporary orders are and what they do we can discuss what temporary orders cover specifically. Since divorce cases can incorporate child custody and marital property elements, we will discuss those issues. 

Walking you through temporary orders in a Texas divorce with children

Divorce cases have it all. Child custody cases “only” have issues related to minor children. On the other hand, divorce cases can contain issues related to child custody and marital property division. This makes the divorce case a great type of case for us to examine in greater detail here. 

For instance, let’s examine a hypothetical situation involving you, your husband, and your two elementary school-aged children. You decide to file for divorce. There are problems in the marriage which have been ongoing for many years. For instance, your husband has been unfaithful to you. The two of you have never seen eye to eye on raising the kids. As a result, you decided to end the marriage now. 

In filing your Original Petition for Divorce, you also choose to file a proposed temporary order. Your skilled and experienced attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan has told you that it is a good idea to request a temporary order hearing, too. A temporary orders hearing gives you and your spouse a deadline to negotiate temporary orders. Deadlines, your attorney assures you, spur action. 

What sort of orders do you need in your case? Your attorney explains that because your family is unique, you all need to examine your situation carefully to make a wise decision on this subject. 

Beneficial temporary orders for a divorcee with young children

Establishing conservatorship rights and duties would be a basic step to take for you and your spouse. This allows the two of you to share in the child-raising responsibilities during the divorce. It also allows you to acclimate yourselves to a co-parenting situation. Particularly, being able to work alongside your spouse civilly helps your children adjust to their new circumstances.

Creating orders that allow one of you to be named as the primary managing conservator makes sense. This is the parent with whom the children will reside primarily during the school week. The other parent receives visitation rights on the first, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month. Holidays and other special times of the year are split down the middle. A month-long period of uninterrupted possession is also available to the non-primary parent.

Additionally, creating child support obligations in the case is especially beneficial. Many times, parents can go weeks or even months without supporting children that they do not see. That’s not to say that your spouse will fall into this trap, but it is possible. Creating child support orders from the beginning makes this less likely to occur. You and your spouse have an opportunity to negotiate these proposed orders in mediation. Additionally, the two of you have time to negotiate between yourselves on additional orders.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

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