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New Bill Proposes Changes to Temporary Orders

Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas family attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyerA recently introduced bill could have a substantial impact on what courts are permitted to include in temporary orders during a family law dispute. The bill has not been passed, but is currently being reviewed by one of the House of Representatives’ committees.

Temporary Orders

Under current law, courts are permitted to grant temporary orders during appeals of family law matters. These orders can direct one or both parties to:

  • Support the other spouse;
  • Pay the other party’s reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and expenses;
  • Appoint a receiver for the preservation and protection of the parties’ property; and
  • Award one spouse exclusive occupancy of the parties’ residence.

If passed, HB 1617 would also allow courts to grant a temporary order that:

  • Enjoins one party from wasting or transferring the property awarded to the other spouse; or
  • Suspends the division of property that is the source of the appeal.

Prohibition against Dissipation or Transfer

In the event that a court orders one of the parties to cease the dissipation or transfer of the other party’s property, the order can be given without:

  • A bond being issued between the parties; or
  • An affidavit stating specific facts that demonstrate an immediate injury or loss to one of the parties.

The court will be barred from prohibiting one party’s use, transfer, or waste of assets awarded to the other spouse if the use is for the purpose of suspending the enforcement of the initial property division. If a court decides to suspend the initial property division during an appeal, it must first take reasonable steps to ensure that the party who was awarded the property in the first trial is protected from the other party’s waste of the assets.

Requesting or Modifying a Temporary Order

The bill also makes changes to the process of filing a motion for a temporary order. According to the terms of the bill, a motion can be filed:

  • Before trial; and
  • May not be filed by a party after the date by which he or she must file a notice of appeal.

Furthermore, the court would be able to hold a hearing or sign a temporary order up until 60 days after one of the parties files an appeal.

Trial courts would also be permitted to modify any temporary orders if:

  • One of the party’s circumstances materially and substantially changed; and
  • Modification is equitable and necessary for the preservation of the parties’ assets during an appeal.

Contact an Experienced Complex Litigation Attorney

If you have questions about the recently proposed bill or about filing a motion for a temporary order, please contact one of our skilled Georgetown complex litigation attorneys at Powers and Kerr, PLLC to schedule a meeting with a dedicated complex divorce attorney who can evaluate your case. We are eager to begin helping you immediately.




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