A divorce begins with the filing of the original petition for divorce. The petition is the document that tells the court what you want. The petition is also called a pleading, as in to enter your plea. Motions are pleadings as well. The court answers you by issuing an order or judgment. The pleadings give the court authority over the parties and their issues. If you do not ask for it, the court cannot give it to you. Another reason you have to put everything down in your pleading is to let the other side know what you are asking for.
When a divorce is pending, folks might be tempted to spend money they shouldn’t. Folks also tend to get mad during a divorce case. In the past we would get restraining orders for these issues. Now, Dallas, Collin, and Denton counties have automatic restraining orders that go into effect as soon as a family case is filed. If you want something more specific, like no alcohol during visits with children, you must ask in a motion. These are commonly granted.
After the case is filed, the issues of child custody, child support, splitting the house, cash and debts must be decided. This does not happen quickly for most parties. If you can come to an agreement quickly, you will save time and money and heartache. If the case is going to take a while, and parties are going to live separately while the case is pending, suddenly, you are running two separate households. It will feel like you are already divorced. But, to run two households and have the kids going back and forth, there must be rules. Particularly since this is a completely new situation. How do we put these rules in place?