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Travis County Standing Order

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What is The Travis County Standing Order

The Travis County Standing Order is an injunctive Order that goes in to effect immediately upon the filing of an Original Petition for Divorce or Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship. No party to a divorce or suit affecting the parent-child relationship specifically requests this Order, this is an Order that automatically takes effect upon filing the lawsuit. Therefore, before filing for a divorce in Travis County, it is important to understand the orders and restrictions set forth in the Travis County Standing Order.

The Travis County Standing Order provides a set of Orders that the parties to a divorce or suit affecting the parent-child Relationship are required to follow. They are the ground rules that apply immediately upon the filing of a suit.  Essentially, the intent of the Standing Order is to maintain the current status quo of the parties, provide for civility between the parties in a divorce or suit affecting the parent-child relationship, preserve property, and minimize disruption to the children.

What Effect Does it Have on My Case?

Upon filing the original petition, a copy of the standing order is attached to the petition and remains in effect until the Court signs a final order in this matter. There are situations in which the Court can modify the terms in the Standing Order but this modification will have to be specifically requested from and ruled on by the Court.  It is important to understand that the Standing Order automatically becomes a temporary injunction after 14 days from the date of filing, unless a party presents evidence before the Court on why the Standing Order should be modified.

The Standing Order is broken down to nine broad sections as follows:

  1. No Disruption of Children;
  2. Conduct of the Parties During the Case;
  3. Preservation of Property and Use of Funds During Divorce Case;
  4. Personal and Business Records in Divorce Case;
  5. Insurance in Divorce Case;
  6. Specific Authorizations in Divorce Case;
  7. Service and Application of This Order;
  8. Effect of Other Court Orders; and
  9. Parties Encouraged to Mediate.

Impact on the Children the Subject of the Suit

As to the children, it is important to understand that upon filing of the suit, the Standing Order specifically prohibits either party from the following:

  1. Removing the children from the State of Texas without written agreement with the other party or order of the Court;
  2. Withdrawing the child from the current school or day-care; and
  3. Changing the child’s current place of residence without written agreement with the other party or order of the Court.

It is important to understand the effect of these provisions because if you are planning to travel outside the State of Texas, enrolling the child in another school, or moving the child’s primary residence, this Standing Order can impact your ability to do that without further Court order.

Impact on Property Pending Divorce

It is also important to understand the prohibitions in the Standing Order as it relates to your property. Pursuant to the Standing Order, there are specific restrictions as to incurring indebtedness and as to spending money pending a divorce.

Essentially, both parties are only entitled to incur indebtedness and spend money as follows:

  1. To engage in acts reasonable and necessary to the conduct of that party’s usual business and occupation;
  2. To make expenditures and incur indebtedness for reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses in connection with this suit;
  3. To make expenditures and incur indebtedness for reasonable and necessary living expenses for food, clothing, shelter, transportation and medical care;
  4. To make withdrawals from accounts in financial institutions only for the purposes authorized by this order.

Click here to obtain a copy of the Travis County Standing Order.  For more information on the Travis County Standing Order, contact Trisha Dixon.