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What is a Temporary Restraining Order?

Divorce scares almost everyone.  No doubt, people seeking divorce face a new and strange vocabulary.   Also, the process intimidates!  People seeking divorce ask lots of questions, and they should.  First and foremost, Mr. and Ms. Schmidt strive to educate and inform clients about all the special words they hear.  We give clients detailed timelines with steps and instructions, and explain what’s going on!  Actually, our forms provide a lot of peace of mind, we have found.  Daily, we answer the question, “What is a Restraining Order“.  This “teaching” approach resulted from decades of experience dealing with divorcing parties.

QUESTIONS, questions!

One question we hear regularly is, “What is a Temporary Restraining Order?”  And, “Do I need a Temporary Restraining Order in the first place?”  So, what is a Temporary Restraining Order anyway?  Well, first it is an ORDER from a Court.  A Court order means serious business.   The court orders an individual – the Court doesn’t make  a polite request or invite.   Often at the beginning of a divorce case, lawyers assess the client’s circumstances.  Based upon certain information, attorneys  request the Court to order the parties to keep the “status quo”.   Quite simply that means, divorcing parties need to keep doing what they are already doing about money for instance.

In Other Words…Keep Doing What Your Doing!

Examples might include, whoever pays the mortgage and utilities continues to do so.  The order might also command parties to refrain from doing other things like draining bank accounts or cutting their spouse’s access to credit cards.   The Order also includes clear directions that spouses avoid harassing each other.    Also, important to know that unless the Court signs a “kick-out” order or very dangerous circumstances exist, the parties and children remain in the residence.

Differences between Orders

Understand also that the word “temporary” means just that.  The Temporary Restraining Order remains in place for 14 days and may be extended for another 14.  After that attorneys, the parties, and the Court (or a mediator) negotiate another Order that lasts longer.   Lawyers and Judges call that second order a “Temporary Order.”  Yes, how confusing is that already!  Both Orders contain the word “temporary” but one can only last at most a month.  The second order – the Temporary Order lasts usually throughout the remaining divorce process.  Also important, a judge signs a Temporary Restraining Order without even hearing from the other party to the divorce.  Lawyers refer to this as “ex parte”.   Meaning the Court hears only one party’s side of the story.


On the other hand, a Temporary Order requires both parties to participate in the process.  Also, important to understand is most Courts in the Houston area require the parties to attend mediation before the Court holds a formal “Temporary Orders” hearing.  The complexity of all these factors require experienced attorneys such as those at C.E. Schmidt & Associates, PLLC.  So, “Divorce – What is a Temporary Restraining Order” remains a question to be answered.   Experienced attorneys answer the question best.  Since 1980, we have provided those answers.  Call (281) 550-6650 today for a consultation.

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