What Are Temporary Orders in a Texas Divorce and How to Obtain One?

man and woman facing away from each other

As you may know, the divorce process can be both expensive and time-consuming. It could be weeks, months, or even years (in extreme cases) from the date of filing an Original Petition for Divorce to the date when you and your spouse obtain the final decree.

As you can guess, a divorcing couple is usually left in limbo before their divorce case is finalized. For this reason, it is imperative to get a temporary order in a divorce to spell out the rights and responsibilities of the spouses.

Obtaining a temporary order can be a complicated process, which is why it is advisable to consult with a Florence divorce attorney to understand how best to proceed in your specific case.

RelatedHow Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Texas?

What Can a Temporary Order Do?

When going through a divorce, spouses may not know what they can and cannot do with their property, finances, and minor children. Who will the children live with while the divorce case is pending? Who should stay in the marital home?

These and many other questions are addressed through temporary orders. As its name implies, a temporary order is effective for a temporary amount of time (typically, until the judge issues a final decree of divorce).

Under Texas Family Code § 6.502, either spouse has a right to file a motion to request a temporary order. Temporary orders can address the following matters when a divorce is pending:

  • Require one party to pay alimony to the other;

  • Allow one spouse to stay in the marital home;

  • Prohibit one spouse from going anywhere near their spouse, their primary residence, work, or children;

  • Prohibit one of both spouses to spend more than a court-ordered amount; and

  • Require sworn inventory and appraisement of the parties’ real and personal property.

These are only several examples of what temporary orders can do in Texas. A court may order anything as long as it is deemed reasonable and fair. Typically, when a divorce involves minor children, a judge will determine:

  1. Who the children will live with while the divorce case is pending;

  2. Whether one parent should pay child support; and

  3. How much time each parent can spend with the children until a final decree is issued.

If you are not sure what type of temporary order you need for your specific situation, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Parties Can Enter a Temporary Order by Agreement

Texas law allows parties to enter temporary orders by agreement. This is only possible when the spouses agree on how to divide their rights and responsibilities while the divorce case is pending.

Generally, judges approve temporary orders reached by agreement unless they agreement:

  • Is unfair; or

  • Does not account for the best interests of the children.

Even if you can reach an agreement regarding some of the issues related to your divorce, you may still need to ask the judge to issue a temporary order on other issues.

Entering a temporary order by agreement can help you save money, time, and stress.

Do Parties Need to Attend Court Hearings to Get a Temporary Order?

If you and your spouse cannot reach a consensus to enter a temporary order by agreement, you may be ordered to attend a court hearing so that the judge can make a determination for you.

At the court hearing, you and your spouse will be given an opportunity to present your arguments in front of the judge. Here’s what you can expect at the temporary order court hearing in a Texas divorce case:

  • Both parties will make an opening statement

  • Each party will testify and cross-examine the evidence presented by the opposing party

  • Parties are allowed to present evidence such as documents, photographs, videos, and other pertinent information

  • Both parties can bring their witnesses to testify

  • The judge may want to speak with the child in child-related disputes

  • Both parties will present closing arguments before the judge can render a decision

The purpose of a temporary order is to help spouses navigate the disputed issues while the divorce case is pending.

How Do Texas Judges Issue Temporary Orders?

In Texas, judges have discretion when issuing temporary orders, which means the outcome of a court hearing can be quite unpredictable. A judge may exercise discretion when deciding:

  • How to conduct the court hearing;

  • Which spouses’ requests should be granted or rejected; and

  • Whether to require the parties to try mediation before the court hearing.

There is no way of knowing how the judge will rule when issuing a temporary order in your case, which is why you should seek the legal counsel of an experienced attorney to help you achieve a favorable outcome.

How to Get a Temporary Order in Texas?

Following these steps to obtain a temporary order during a Texas divorce:

  1. File a motion with the court requesting a temporary order and stating the orders you are seeking;

  2. Wait for the judge to sign your request and schedule a hearing;

  3. Serve your spouse with the motion and order to appear for the hearing;

  4. Prepare for the temporary orders hearing by collecting evidence and preparing your arguments to present in front of the judge;

  5. Contact an attorney to help you prepare for the hearing and represent your best interests at the hearing; and

  6. Attend the hearing with your attorney present.

Do not hesitate to contact our divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to help you obtain a temporary order in your divorce case. Our knowledgeable lawyers have helped thousands of clients in Florence and other parts of Texas get temporary hearings on their behalf.

Consult with a Florence Divorce Attorney

Schedule a consultation with our divorce attorneys to discuss how you can obtain a temporary order in your particular case. Our lawyers at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard will protect your rights and best interests throughout the process to ensure that you get a favorable temporary order in your case. Call 254-501-4040 for a case review.


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