In the context of Family Law, there are many documents and orders that need to be taken into consideration in order to protect the family and the individuals that consist it. While there are families that are not successful together in the long run, it is acknowledged by the court that steps need to be taken in order to ensure that all the rights of each individual are not violated.
Since cases in court take a significantly long time to arrive at a final decision, the law presents solutions in order to address problems that cannot wait for the final decision of the judge. This is called a Temporary Order.
A Temporary Order remains to be one of the useful and helpful documents being used in the legal context. A Temporary Order stands essential especially in cases involving Family Law. It is not a requirement for all family cases to have temporary orders. These are only created when deemed necessary. However, as previously mentioned, family law cases usually take more than months to finish. To solve this, the court has opened the option to get a Temporary Order as it is one of the best solutions to be able to demand for several conditions concerning property rights, or custody of the children.
Temporary Orders are presented to court through Temporary Hearings. These kinds of hearings are called by the judge before he/she gets to issue the Temporary Order. Once the judge arrives at a decision on the said order, the document stands as valid until it is changed by the judge himself. The Temporary Order may also change if the judge signs his final order on the case. Whatever the decision will be, both parties will have to respect the order of the court and apply this while they wait for the whole case to finish.
Temporary Orders for Child Custody
As discussed, Temporary Orders may either be applied for property rights or for the custody of the children. When children are involved in the case, a Temporary Order covers the custody and visitation rights for the children, financial support, and health insurance. In terms of properties, on the other hand, Temporary Orders are used in order to establish the use of the said property, payment of debts, financial support provided per spouse and other kinds of vital information in order to equally claim shares in property.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)
There are instances, however, that one of the parties are not allowed to practice their rights to the children or to a certain property because of prevalent reasons such as violence and abuse. If this is evident, the court also extends an opportunity to the parties to be issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
This is different from the initially mentioned Temporary Order. From the word “Restraining” itself – a TRO is used in order to demand that one of the parties do not get to participate in the said case. This is mostly used when there are certain acts committed that are perilous to family members.
The judge has the upper had to determine if these factors become a hindrance to getting a final decision on the case. These perilous instances involve harm, violence or abuse wherein the judge has the ability to grant a TRO on the said case requested by either party.
Filing a TRO in Court
To delve deeper into the specifics of getting a Temporary Restraining Order, a TRO is filed via a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. This should be supported by a file or an affidavit which gives a detailed explanation as to why a TRO is essential for the case to move on. This should provide a detailed and concise narration with concrete proof as to why one of the parties should be issued a TRO.
One also needs to note that a Protective Order is different from a TRO, as the former is more focused in the concept of family violence. A TRO is usually used during emergencies, where it is only right for the court to order a parent to keep a strict distance away from the child. This TRO is to be applied and to be taken into consideration until a hearing is held in court.
Another example could be if the parent is into alcohol or drug abuse. Since this is detrimental to the other members of the family, a TRO should be issued to the abuser in order for him or her to keep away from the others. A TRO is signed by the judge only in situations of emergency where harm and violence is involved.
If one is in the party where the TRO is served, this would mean that it is that person who should keep away from certain family members and should abide by the rules stated by the court. Once the TRO is served, this document should be carefully read and strictly obeyed.
Refusal to follow the conditions in the TRO will entitle the court to hold one in contempt. It is also a possibility that instances where the TRO is not followed will be considered as one of the factors to identify the movement of one’s current case. Disobeying the TRO may be taken against the party where the TRO was served.
In order to give a fair trial to the one who was issued a TRO, the court extends the right to either one of the parties to be represented by a lawyer so that both sides of the stories are presented in court and are heard by the judge who will make the final decision in the case.
In Temporary Order meetings, the judge gives the opportunity for each side to present their own versions of the story. With this, the Judge also has the ability to change the decisions of the temporary orders. It is a requirement, however, that both parties show a significant change in the situations.
If a non-parent is the one that attempts to file a temporary order, the biological parents should be able to provide an Authorization Agreement for Non-parent Relative or Voluntary Caregiver form. This is used by non-parents considered as close relatives or the guardians of the child involved in the case. However, this document can be revoked anytime by the biological parent of the child if it is deemed necessary.
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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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