Understand The Legal Constraints Once A Divorce Petition Is Filed

Being served with divorce papers can be jarring, particularly if it is a surprise. Whether or not you saw it coming, once you have been served a divorce petition, it is important to connect with a lawyer to discuss your rights and responsibilities. A written response is required — typically within about 20 days from being served — or a default can be taken against you.

The initial orders will include the divorce petition and information about the standing order on your assets and behavior. It also may include a motion for temporary orders regarding custodial issues for minor children, child support, spousal support and use of the family home. In your written response, you will either agree to the orders or file a counterclaim. It is important to protect your interests from the start of the process.

At the Law Office of Brian Turner in Bryan, I work closely with fathers who face divorce in order to keep them informed about the actions they should take, as well as what not to do.

A Prompt Response Is Important

The district courts of Brazos County have adopted a standing order regarding the treatment of children and property during divorce, as well as a code of personal conduct. It is designed to protect all parties while a divorce is completed.

As it pertains to children, the standing order adopted by Travis County judges states that parties in divorce must not:

  • Remove a child from the state without the written agreement of both parties or through an order of the court
  • Disrupt the child's education or day care schedule without written agreement from both parents or a court order
  • Hide the child from the other parent, prevent the child from seeing the other parent or change the child's permanent address

Rights Regarding Marital Funds And Property

Regarding property and the use of marital funds, the Brazos County standing order prohibits a number of actions, including:

  • Misrepresenting or refusing to disclose to the court the existence, amount or location of any property, whether it is jointly owned or owned by one spouse
  • Damaging or tampering with any personal property of one or both spouses
  • Selling, transferring or reassigning any property that is jointly or solely owned unless authorized by the order
  • Incurring debt (other than legal expenses connected to the divorce) unless authorized by court order
  • Making withdrawals from any financial account that are not authorized by the court order
  • Spending money that is in either party's control for any purpose that is not authorized by the court
  • Change or alter the beneficiary designation of a life insurance policy of either party except for what is authorized by the court

Clearly, the court's objective is to prevent any shifting of finances or retaliatory moves — financial or otherwise — while the divorce is completed.

Legal Guidance From A Lawyer Who Has Been Through A Challenging Divorce

I have practiced law in Texas since 1991. I began to focus my professional efforts on representing men in family law matters in 2009, after experiencing my own challenging post-divorce in which I faced unsubstantiated claims and worked with attorneys who did not always have my best interests in mind.

I welcome the opportunity to provide you with the experienced guidance and legal knowledge that is critical to producing the best possible outcomes in divorce. Call 979-583-9200 or use my online contact form to schedule a consultation.