So, You Have Filed For Divorce in Denton County – What Now?


So, you’ve filed for divorce in Denton County.  Are there any immediate Orders in effect?  YES!  Once your divorce action is filed in Denton County, the Standing Orders are immediately in effect for both parties without anyone asking for them, provided the service requirements and notice requirements have been followed. What does this mean?  First and foremost, read the Standing Orders.  The Standing Orders include lists of behavior and actions that you can’t do during a divorce in order to protect the children, marital property and you and your spouse. If you have questions about how the Standing Orders affect you and your behavior, ask your lawyer.  This can save you time and attorney’s fees later.  If you violate the Standing Orders you risk having a hearing and appearing front of the Judge and explaining why you did what you did.  If you can avoid having to go to court because of a violation of these orders, you will save time and attorney’s fees and expenses.

1) What about the living expenses and money?   For instance, DO NOT cut your spouse off from community funds. It does not matter that one party has moved away from the marital residence.  Any income earnings received, by either party, are community income.  This means you cannot cut your spouse off from community funds.  Do not take your paycheck and deposit it into a separate account and leave your spouse without any money.  This type of behavior will likely land you in a hearing early on in the case.

There are other limits that have to do with your home and spending money.  For example, if you move away from your home DO NOT cancel the home cable, electricity, telephone service, etc.   The scenario usually happens this way:  one party moves out and that same party who had most of the living expenses in his or her name, calls to cancel utilities and services for the marital home.  Once a divorce has been filed, both husband and wife are required to follow the Standing Orders and this type of behavior is in direct violation of the Standing Orders.  Cutting off a spouse from money and turning off utilities is likely to result in a hearing early on in the case.

2) What about the children?  There are numerous sections dealing with the children in the divorce in the Denton County Standing Orders.   Neither Mom nor Dad can remove the children from the State of Texas for the purpose of changing the children’s home (domicile or place of residence), disrupt or withdraw the children from school, disturb the peace of the children, make disparaging remarks about the other parent in front of the children, or discuss the case with the children.  Finally, neither parent can have anybody with whom they have a dating relationship to be in the same dwelling or on the same premises overnight while in possession of the children.  Overnight is defined from 10:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. the next day.

3) What about my conduct?  We all know that divorce is an unpleasant experience to go through.  However, the Standing Orders specifically address the conduct of the parties.  For instance, among many other things listed, the parties shall refrain from harassing, abusing, tormenting and embarrassing the other party.  This means the parties must refrain from speaking to one another, writing one another or texting one another in an obscene, offensive, or vulgar fashion.  If your spouse is engaging in bad behavior, then bring it to the attention of your lawyer.

4) Authorized to do anything?  There is a specific section with a list of actions and behaviors that the parties are authorized to do during a Denton County divorce.

If you’ve been served with Citation in divorce, or received notice and a copy of an Original Petition for Divorce, talk with a lawyer about what you should do next.  This isn’t legal advice for you.  This is only general information. These are just a few of many items listed in the pages the Standing Orders for Denton County.  This is why you MUST read the entire Order very carefully and think before you act, once you file for a divorce.  Find an experienced divorce attorney to help you through your divorce as painlessly and successfully as possible.  Call and schedule your appointment with Jill O’Connell to discuss your Denton County divorce: 940-497-5454.