San Antonio Temporary Orders Attorney
Legal Counsel for Temporary Custody, Support, & Restraining Orders
The resolution of family law cases like divorce and custody disputes does not happen overnight. Whether the parties choose to litigate or negotiate, weeks or months (or longer) are necessary before a final ruling or agreement is reached.
Temporary orders fill the gap between the initiation and end of the case. Some individuals can negotiate a temporary answer while the issue is pending, but that cooperation is not always possible or practical.
At The Knowlton Law Firm, our attorney and his team take an action-oriented and empathetic approach to helping each client through what is likely a difficult time. Temporary orders provide a framework that temporarily settles an issue until a more permanent answer is found.
Temporary Orders Provide Interim Answers
Temporary orders have the flexibility to address many issues.
Questions that can be settled through San Antonio temporary orders include the following:
- Who will live in the marital home?
- Where will the children live?
- Who will pay child support and how much?
- What is the visitation schedule for the support-paying parent?
- Where will the family pet live?
- Will one spouse receive spousal support? If so, how much and for how long?
- Who is responsible for paying the bills?
- Who gets to have the use of the car?
Having the answers to these questions – even on a temporary basis – can allow the parties to better work through the issues for a permanent resolution.
Hearing Before a Judge
A hearing before a judge is typically scheduled shortly after a divorce is filed. The judge will make a decision based on the testimony of the two parties as well as the best interests of any minor children.
A judge can make the following temporary orders:
The temporary order may provide the foundation for the final decree, but that is not required. Relying on a judge for a temporary order does not preclude the two parties from settling the issue in a final agreement.
Temporary orders remain in place until the final decree.
Temporary Orders Are Enforceable
If one of the parties defy a temporary order, the other party can file a motion asking the court to act. The mere threat of contempt of court is often enough to bring the offending party in line. If not, the court has the authority to find the party in contempt and order a fine or jail time as a penalty. They will be ordered to comply with the original order and are often required to pay for all associated attorney fees.
Like final orders, a temporary order can be modified if circumstances change. Modifications to the court’s temporary order must be initiated by an additional petition to the court.
The Role of Temporary Restraining Orders
Temporary restraining orders (TRO) are another useful tool with distinct differences from a temporary order. A TRO is an emergency order prohibiting specific actions or behaviors for 14 days.
One person typically files for a TRO when they believe the responding party will do something harmful before the temporary orders hearing. TROs are granted based on the application of one person. The court will schedule within 14 days a full hearing. The judge will decide whether to continue the order as a temporary order or injunction.
A TRO can order a parent to stay away from the other party or a child until a hearing can be held. The subject is ordered not to harm, threaten, or harass the other party or their property. Temporary restraining orders cannot force a spouse out of their home. TROs also cannot make temporary child custody orders.
Protective Orders Address Family Violence
Protective orders are an effective tool to protect the abused and de-escalate a pattern of increasing violence. Protective orders are distinctly different from TROs or temporary orders. Protective orders can include more restrictions, last longer, and have criminal consequences for violators.
If a judge believes the petitioner is in danger, the court can issue temporary protective orders that can force the other party to leave the home and stay away from the petitioner and family members until a full hearing can be held. A court hearing occurs within two weeks to determine if a final protective order is appropriate.
The court will use a protective order if it finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.
The judge may prohibit the subject of the order from taking a child from the petitioner or out of the jurisdiction of the court. The order subject cannot transfer, destroy, or otherwise change any property that is mutually owned or leased by the two parties. The petitioner can be granted sole use and possession of the family home and other property.
The protective order can also require the subject to do the following:
- Complete a battering intervention and prevention program
- Pay child support
- See any children only under certain conditions
- Stop committing family violence
- End communications with the protected person or a member of their family/household in a threatening or harassing manner
- Stay a certain distance away from the home, school, daycare, or another location a child protected normally attends or resides
- Not harm, harass, or interfere with the custody of a pet or companion or assistance animal
- Not go near the protected person’s residence or place of employment
- Relinquish any firearm
Protective orders typically do not extend beyond two years except in certain situations:
- If they committed a felony offense involving family violence against the petitioner or a family member
- If they caused serious bodily injury to the petitioner or a member of their family
- If they were the subject of two or more previous protective orders
If the subject violates the restraining order, law enforcement can take them into custody.
Legal Counsel for San Antonio Temporary Orders
If you need temporary orders for custody, support, or another family law concern, lean on the experience and knowledge of The Knowlton Law Firm. We provide each client with personalized legal advice and guidance to support their goals.
Talk to us about your case in a free consultation. We offer transparent pricing with flat fees for all our services. Reach us online or call (210) 361-6990.
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