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Standing Orders

Standing Orders

Sure, discover the concept of standing orders within Texas family law proceedings. These regulations, implemented by judges in select counties, dictate permissible or impermissible actions until a verdict is reached. Covering aspects like child welfare, conduct, and property matters, standing orders remain effective until the case concludes or the court modifies them. They stand distinct from temporary restraining orders, which are sought by a party and have a limited duration.

What are standing orders?

In family law matters, standing orders represent a set of regulations issued by the judges, typically in county or district courts, within a particular county. They function similarly to temporary restraining orders, a topic we’ll delve into shortly. Applicable to any family law case, they are frequently encountered in divorce proceedings and cases concerning children, also known as Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship.

What is the purpose of standing orders?

Standing orders serve the purpose of either forbidding a party from certain actions or mandating specific actions to preserve the existing state of affairs until a judge can adjudicate and issue a ruling. Typically, standing orders encompass three main areas: matters concerning children, the conduct of the involved parties, and property-related issues. Property encompasses financial matters, business documentation, insurance policies, as well as tangible assets like real estate properties and vehicles. As an example of a standing order, consider one that restricts either party from selling marital assets until the divorce proceedings are finalized.

Are standing orders utilized in every county?

No, not every county employs standing orders. However, many counties, both large and small, do implement them. It’s worth noting that some sizable counties, such as Tarrant and Harris, do not utilize standing orders.

How can I find out if my county mandates standing orders?

The most effective method to determine this is by visiting the website of the county clerk or district clerk responsible for processing your lawsuit filing. Check whether the county has a standing order listed there. Alternatively, you can contact the clerk directly and inquire about the existence of standing orders in their county.

Starting from January 1, 2023, Texas courts are required to make their local rules, forms, and standing orders publicly accessible through the Office of Court Administration’s Public Information System.

What are the necessary steps if my county enforces a standing order?

If your county mandates a standing order, locate the order, typically available on the clerk’s website, print it, and include it with your pleading, often referred to as a petition, when submitting the lawsuit. Thoroughly review the standing orders. If you find them unclear, seek advice from a legal professional. You can utilize the Legal Help Directory to locate a lawyer.

When do standing orders become active?

Standing orders become effective upon the submission of the pleading (petition) initiating the lawsuit. For instance, if you’re initiating a divorce case in Bexar County (which mandates standing orders), you’d retrieve the standing order from the Bexar County District Clerk’s website and append it to the conclusion of your initial divorce petition. As soon as you file the petition, the standing order takes effect.

How long do standing orders remain valid?

Standing orders persist until the court issues an order that either modifies or terminates them. Once your case reaches its conclusion, the standing order ceases to be effective.

How do standing orders differ from temporary restraining orders (TROs)?

Standing orders function as a subset of temporary restraining orders (TROs). While both often address similar issues, standing orders are not sought by a party but rather imposed on all parties by judges without request. Conversely, a TRO necessitates a party’s request.

In contrast to standing orders, TROs are legally limited to a duration of 14 days, with the possibility of a single extension under certain conditions. Before this period elapses, all parties must appear in court for a hearing to determine whether the TRO will transition into a temporary order. If granted, such an order can remain in effect until the court terminates or modifies it, or the case concludes.

Temporary restraining orders possess the authority to take actions that standing orders cannot, such as barring a party from the marital residence based on specific circumstances or restricting access to children. Typically, standing orders do not have the jurisdiction to evict a party from the residence or curtail child visitation.

What are the repercussions of violating a standing order?

As a court order, a standing order carries legal weight, and breaching it could result in contempt of court charges. If one party violates the standing order, the other party can file a motion to enforce it. Seeking legal counsel is advisable to understand the potential consequences of violating a standing order.

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