What to Expect From Your Divorce Proceeding

Every divorce starts by filing an “original petition for divorce” with the court. In this blog, we discuss Chapter 6 of attorney Michelle May O’Neil’s book, What You Need to Know About Divorce in Texas, to help you get ready for your divorce proceeding.

Although counties like Dallas and Tarrant have specific courts that handle divorce cases, most other counties in Texas use general district courts for these types of cases. In order to seek divorce in Texas, a spouse has to be a resident of the state for at least 6 months before the filing of their petition. They must also be a resident of the county they file in for 90 days.

Petitions for divorce tend to include a request for a 2 week temporary restraining order. The purpose of the restraining order is to prevent spouses from trying to taking retaliatory actions until a hearing can be held.  

A temporary restraining order can be used to prevent a spouse from doing the following things:

  • Hiding money
  • Making excessive or bizarre purchases
  • Interfering  with use of the marital residence

It is important to note that the temporary order does not give one spouse the right to change locks or exclude the other spouse from the home without first establishing special circumstances.

Some counties use a Standing Order that prohibits spouses from taking certain actions after the divorce petition has been filed. Dallas, Travis, and Bexar counties issue Standing Orders, while Tarrant and Harris do not.

Under a Standing Order, spouses are generally prohibited from doing the following things:

  • Relocating from the state of Texas with children involved in the case
  • Removing children from schools or day-care facilities without the permission of both spouses
  • Hiding a child from the other parent
  • Changing the child’s residence
  • Making threats against the other party
  • Harassing the other party
  • Taking actions that will reduce the value of either spouse’s separate or community property
  • Hiding or destroying  important personal documents or business records
  • Altering or canceling insurance policies

If the county you file for divorce in doesn’t use a Standing Order, you can petition for a temporary restraining order. You will have to include reasons for why the restraining order is necessary. Courts are not likely to issue orders for the removal of a spouse from the marital home until a hearing is held. However, there are unusual circumstances where a spouse can be removed from the home.

Talk to a Divorce Lawyer in Dallas

Are you thinking about leaving your spouse? Do you need help filing for divorce? Our attorneys at O’Neil Wysocki are here to make sure your rights are fully protected throughout your divorce proceedings. We can review your case and help you secure a fair outcome.

Call (972) 852-8000, or contact our Dallas divorce lawyers to request a consultation with our legal team.

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