In Texas and other states alike, temporary orders are used to establish some operating terms while a couple goes through a divorce. They can allocate the use of the marital home and cars, establish support amounts and even determine who pays what share of the household bills until the divorce is settled.
Since these orders are just temporary pending a deeper exploration of the disputed issues, how much should you be concerned about the temporary orders that are put in place regarding custody of the children?
Plenty. First of all, it can take a long time for a divorce to be finalized, especially if there are conflicts. Custody of the children is always decided on whatever is in their best interests. It’s entirely possible that a judge will decide that the kids — after a year or so of living under the temporary orders — are already accustomed to the current arrangement and their routine shouldn’t be disrupted with any changes. That could put you in an uphill battle if you want to make any changes.
There’s also the possibility that the judge who grants the temporary orders will be the same judge hearing your custody case later. Sometimes judges think that their first impressions in a case are best and can be reluctant to revise their earlier decisions. If you think that the judge was particularly critical of you or didn’t listen fully to the witnesses that testified in your earlier hearing, that can be a problem in later hearings, as well.
Don’t assume that you don’t need aggressive representation for your parenting rights just because a hearing is only going to deal with temporary orders. You need experienced representation at every stage of the fight.