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Divorce: From Filing to Finalizing – Part 3

Divorce From Filing to Finalizing

Divorce may be a common part of mainstream culture today, but most people do not know what to expect after they file for divorce from their spouse. A lot goes on in between the time you file for divorce and when the case is finalized. This multi-part blog series takes an in-depth look at the general components of a contested divorce:

  1. File Petition
  2. Service of Process
  3. Temporary Restraining Order
  4. Response
  5. Temporary Orders hearing
  6. Discovery
  7. Mediation
  8. Trial
  9. Prove Up

5. Temporary Orders Hearing

The hearing on temporary orders is usually the first time the parties will step foot in a court room during the divorce process. A current trend among courts in Texas is to require the parties to attend mediation prior to the temporary orders hearing, so litigation is likely imminent if the parties have reached this step.

Although these orders are temporary in nature, they can last for several months while the divorce is pending, so it is important to know exactly what you want to accomplish with your attorney prior to the hearing. If you are asking for temporary spousal support, for example, you will need to ensure that your Financial Information Statement accurately reflects your monthly income and expenses so that a judge will be able to determine if you are eligible to receive it by comparing it to your spouse’s income.

At the temporary orders hearing, each party is entitled to put on evidence for each contested issue in the case. For instance, if both parents desire to be appointed the temporary primary joint managing conservator of their child during the divorce, they will each provide evidence that supports this argument. A parent can testify on their own behalf, provide witness testimony to support their parenting skills, and submit evidence that they are the child’s primary caretaker to support the contention that the judge should appoint him or her as the temporary primary conservator of the child. The other parent’s attorney has the right to cross-examine all witnesses and evidence presented at the hearing. The hearing may last a few hours depending on the number of issues in the case.

After the judge has heard the evidence on all matters related to temporary orders, he or she will make a ruling on each issue. These temporary orders will last until the divorce is finalized or until one party moves to modify the temporary orders.

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