Getting a divorce in Dallas

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The amended, standing order in Dallas County

May 08, 2011

By Mike Hinshaw

Related posts

Just so you’ll know, we have related posts at:

The reason I mention these other posts is that each one discusses some aspects of law that apply to the entire state of Texas. However, at this  blogsite, we strive not only to emphasize the legitimacy of your extra-legal concerns (grief, emotional stability, physical health, to name the “biggies”) but also the very specific issues you face in your own locale.

In other words, we can’t help but refer to over-arching state law, but we try to so in context of specific regions and counties; most divorces, nationwide, are performed through some sort of county/district court. Of course, Louisiana comprises parishes rather than counties, but that’s another post.

No-fault and fault-based divorces

“Divorce in Dallas” is much like divorce anywhere else in Texas, in that state law provides grounds for both “fault divorces,” such as cruelty, abandonment, etc. and for “no-fault divorces.” (Actually, even New York state finally joined the no-fault movement.)

Dallas County: standing order governs conduct during the case

An unusual feature of Dallas County is that all seven District Courts that adjudicate divorce (the 254th, the 255th, the 256th, the 302nd, the 303rd and the 330th) have agreed upon and issued an amended,  standing order that governs the behavior of both parties in a divorce. The order begins once the case is started and stays in effect until the lawsuit is resolved, at which time the appropriate court will issue a new order. Some highlights:

Children’s routines

1. No Disruption of Children

Neither party can without written agreement of both parties or a more recent court order:

  • Take children out of state;
  • Disrupt children’s school or day-care schedule;
  • Hide or keep secret the location of children;
  • Disturb the peace of children;
  • Make disparaging remarks about the other party in the presence of or within hearing of the children.

Conduct of each spouse

2. Conduct of the Parties During the Case

Both parties are ORDERED to refrain from the following acts, whether in person, by telephone, or in person:

  • Using vulgar, profane, obscene, or indecent language, or a coarse or offensive manner to communicate with the other party;
  • Threatening the other party;
  • Placing one or more telephone calls at an unreasonable hour, in an offensive or repetitious manner, with out a legitimate purpose pf communication, or anonymously.

Property, records, normal business

Other areas addressed by the standing order

  • Preservation of Property (basically, don’t damage, steal, hide or even tamper with any property);
  • Personal and Business Records (again, don’t destroy, hide or falsify any records, whether paper or digital);
  • Insurance (ditto: don’t fool around with insurance policies);
  • Specific Authorizations (essentially, it’s OK to incur normal personal and business expenditures, withdrawals, and so forth).

Experts and legal scholars agree that even in the simplest of uncontested divorces, it’s best to retain a trained, experienced attorney–at least for the Petitioner who actually has the papers drawn up. Of course, as the complexity increases (children, financial and real property assets), the need for an attorney likewise increases.
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And that’s where we can help. If you’re ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.

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