A divorce or child custody dispute can be an incredibly stressful event, which can make anyone want to act out of anger or anxiety. Once the lawsuit is filed and you begin negotiations or temporary hearings with your spouse, you may feel the urge to trash them on Facebook, burn their belongings or prevent your child from seeing them. But before you give in to such urges, look at the last few pages attached to the back of your Petition. This document is a standing order, adopted by the Court, and applies in all divorce or suit affecting parent-child relationship suits. The standing order outlines both parties’ restrictions during the proceedings. These restrictions address the treatment of children the parties may have together, treatment of pets, conduct between the parties, treatment of property, personal and business records and insurance. Violations of this order aren’t necessarily as extreme as slashing the tires of your spouse’s car. Something as simple as opening your spouse’s mail or deleting a post from your social media that’s relevant to your case, violates the standing order. If you are unsure whether an action may violate the standing order, consult with an attorney.
It is important to thoroughly read and adhere to every requirement within this order. If you do not adhere to even one section within the standing order, and your spouse has a hearing to let the court know, you could be found in contempt of court. Being held in contempt, could lead to fines and even jail time. If there is a part of the standing order that you have issue with, you can request a hearing to contest it. However, this hearing must occur within 14 days of the filing of petition. If no party contests the standing order, it continues as a temporary injunction until further order of the court.
Written by Savannah Mani, 2L