Temporary restraining orders (TRO) are generally issued by the court as part of a divorce proceeding. Most often, when a party files a divorce petition, s/he will ask the court to issue a TRO along with the citation to be served along with the divorce petition on the respondent. TROs are very common, but are court orders nonetheless and disobeying the order can have very negative consequences. TROs

One of the main purposes for a TRO is to establish and maintain the status quo of the situation between the parties. TROs also keep the parties from wasting or hiding marital assets by putting restrictions on alienation of property, prohibitions against termination of utility services to the marital residence, prohibitions against closing bank accounts or spending large sums of money for reasons not allowed in the order. TROs also keep the parties from making disparaging remarks about each other, especially in front of the children or other family members.

TROs are only good for 14 days unless extended by the court for a good reason. One reason a TRO can be extended past the initial 14-day period is if the respondent has not been served before the 14 days has elapsed. Or, the TRO can be extended through agreement of the parties. Most often, a court will set the hearing on the TRO inside the 14-day period. At the hearing, the court will decide whether the TRO becomes a temporary order that will last until the divorce is final.

In a divorce proceeding, a temporary order is usually put in place not only to establish the status quo during the divorce process, but put in place as a template for the interactions between the parties. That is, if children are involved, the temporary order will govern possession, visitation and support for the children as well as who gets to remain in the marital residence. Other issues governed by temporary orders are who pays the bills until the divorce is finalized as well as who gets possession of which vehicles and other property.

The parties can agree to temporary orders. This is by far the simplest and most cost effective way to establish temporary orders. If this happens, it is usually the result of negotiations either between the lawyers and the parties or as a result of mediation. If the parties cannot agree to temporary orders either through informal negotiations or through mediation, the court will hold a hearing at which testimony and evidence are taken by the court to determine the contents of the temporary order. In essence, the court and not the parties will decide the outcome of the temporary orders.

Temporary orders hearings can be like mini trials where the issues decided are limited to what is contained in a temporary order and the final merits of the divorce are left for another day. A temporary orders hearing can be expensive for the parties since it is formal evidentiary hearing that may take several hours or all day depending on the issues and the court docket. Care should be taken when negotiating temporary orders with an eye toward the expense associated with failing to reach an agreement. Should you have any questions or would like to know more about Temporary Restraining Orders, Temporary Orders, or Protectinve Orders, we encourage you to call an talk to one of our Houston Divorce Lawyers and our Southwest Houston Divorce Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham Our Houston Temporary Restraing Order Attorneys and our Harris County Protective Order Lawyers can be reached at 713-517-6645.


Please DO NOT rely on the information above to replace a personal consultation with our Houston Family Lawyers and our Houston Divorce Attorneys. There may be other legal issues, depending on the fact and circumstances, in which we have not had the opportunity to discuss in this article. Every case is unique and requires our Houston Child Custody Attorneys and our Spring Family Law Lawyers to review and to provide a personal consultation. Please contact our Montgomery and Harris County Divorce Lawyers at 713-517-6645 or complete our Online Contact Form.

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