*Update: Effective, January 20, 2017, there is a new Denton County Standing Order.  See this post: Denton County Standing Order 2017 and find the new Order here.

2015 Denton County Standing Order  – Updates

In some counties in North Texas, when a new divorce or family law case is filed, there is already an order from a judge that applies to the case.  That order is called a Standing Order – and is signed by all of the District Court Judges in that county.  Denton County and Collin County both have standing orders that apply in family law cases and divorces.  The 2015 Denton County Standing Order was updated in the last quarter of 2015 and now includes more up to date, current terms.

Standing Orders are Effective Immediately

A copy of the Standing Orders are filed with the first pleading filed in a case. In a divorce, that is an Original Petition for Divorce.  In a child support or child custody case, it could be a Petition in Suit Affecting Parent Child Relationship.  Everything included in the Standing Order applies to the Petitioner immediately.  And, it applies to the Respondent – the other person involved in the case – when they are served.

Denton County Standing Order – Children

Children are the first area of concern in the Standing Orders.  There are specific requirements and limitations that have to be remembered in the beginning of the lawsuit.  Generally, the courts are concerned with the safety, well being and best interests of the children.  Specifically, the court limits how much control one parent has in making choices regarding the children.  For instance, if the case is an original divorce case, if one of the parties has a romantic interest during the divorce the Standing Orders say that person can’t stay in the same house with the children involved in the lawsuit with either party overnight.  Overnight means from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning.

Denton County Standing Order – Property

The purpose of the Standing Orders as it relates to marital property is to preserve the property and specifically authorize certain spending and actions.  The Orders contain a list of 22 different things that deal with each spouse’s property.  This includes preventing one spouse to use the other one’s password and access their electronic accounts and information, like social media accounts.

Denton County Standing Order – Other Provisions

There are other parts of the Standing Orders that apply to insurance, both parties’ records – both personal and business- and other areas of the divorce.  The Standing Order is in effect for 14 days from the filing of the first pleading.  And, the court can issue other orders as well.  Also, the Order gives the judges the authority to make one party pay the other party’s attorney’s fees if he or she violates the Standing Order.

The Standing Orders have so much information they are critical to the beginning of family law cases.  I encourage you to read them and find a good family law attorney for your questions about them.  Call the office to make your appointment today.

Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454