Temporary Restraining Orders and other Temporary Orders

restraining ordersA temporary restraining order (TRO) is an order signed by a judge without notice or hearing. In the family-law context, temporary restraining orders are often granted in divorce cases, paternity cases, child-custody suits, and other suits affecting the parent-child relationship. The usual purpose of a TRO is to maintain the status quo--in other words, to "freeze" everything until a hearing can be held so that a judge can listen to evidence and make his or her decision.

A TRO can order parties not to destroy marital property, and can order a party not to remove a child from the child's current residence, school or day-care center. A TRO cannot exclude a spouse from the marital residence (except under special circumstances) or exclude a parent from possession of a child, or grant one spouse temporary custody of a child (except under very special circumstances).

The TRO is good for 14 days and can be extended an additional 14 days. Ordinarily, a hearing is scheduled during that time so that a judge can decide whether the TRO should be turned into a temporary injunction which will remain in effect until a final trial.

Temporary Orders (child support, spousal support, etc.)

Since a divorce can take several months or even longer to become final, temporary orders are often necessary whenever children or property are involved. Temporary orders in divorce cases usually provide for the temporary custody, support and visitation of the children. Temporary orders may provide for the temporary exclusive use of property by one spouse or the other, and may order one spouse to provide temporary spousal support to the other until the divorce is final. If one spouse is in control of substantially all of the community assets, that spouse may ordered to give his or her spouse money for attorney's fees, called interim attorney's fees.

Virtually anything can be the subject of a hearing on temporary orders, and you should always discuss with your attorney whether a TRO and/or a hearing on temporary orders is right for you.

If you want to know more about Texas laws concerning temporary restraining orders, protective orders, or temporary orders in divorces and paternity suits, you are invited to consult the Texas Family Code, which contains most of the laws which govern divorces and other family law matters in the State of Texas. Please be aware that the version of the Texas Family Code to which this hyperlink takes you is the most recent version available online, but may have been amended by the time you read this. Therefore, you should not take any action based on the information you find in that version unless you have first received advice from an attorney of your choice.

Due to recent changes to the Bexar County local court rules, Temporary Restraining Orders are largely a thing of the past. Under the new local rules, nearly all of the things normally requested in a temporary restraining order are included in a "Standing Order" which goes into effect the moment a divorce suit or original suit affecting the parent-child relationship is filed. To view the Bexar County Standing Orders, you may click on or cut and paste the following link: http://gov.bexar.org/dc/Downloads/StandingOrders_20131205.pdf

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