Episode 10 - Temporary Orders (Stages of Divorce Series, Part 2/5)
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Your hosts are Brian Abercrombie and Samuel Sanchez. Brian has been practicing law for 18 years and his board certified that sort of legal specialization in the area of family law. Sam has been practicing for 13 years, his license in both Texas and Florida and is a certified mediator. This podcast is for informational purposes only and all views are the opinion of the hosts. It's not designed to provide legal advice for your particular legal matter, and it should not replace the advice of competent counsel.
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All right. Good afternoon and welcome to the top Texas Lawyers podcast, and as Miss, my good friend Mr. John Mayer likes to say, we're going to be talking about heartbreak work here today. So with me, as always, is the super lawyer himself, Sam Sanchez, my co-host. How are you doing, Sam? Doing well, Brian. Doing well. I love the intro. So today we thought we'd talk about part two of our series and we're talking about, well, heartbreak, warfare, Sam.
It's true. Everywhere you got lines drawn, guns out, ready to fire.
So what we're talking about here is we're talking about the preliminary stage of the divorce, or at least the initial the initial pleading stage of the divorce. Whenever the divorces are filed, the lawyers are lawyered up and lawyers are paid well.
Lawyers are on the case. We're filing divorces. And then we're talking about, you know, usually there's usually a temporary order that comes in, at least in Texas for sure.
And Sam, you can speak more to Florida, but there's a temporary order phase that usually comes in in the case. But just generally speaking, in divorce cases, typically one party has to file. And in Texas, it takes a minimum of 60 days.
So what do you do during the time between the time you file and the time your case gets resolved or goes to court or whatever? Well, you get temporary orders is what you do. You get some kind of temporary agreement. That's good that the sides either you guys agree to it or a judge decides who's going to live, where, who's going to pay, what bills, who's going to have custody of the kids, what the visitation orders are going to be, who's going to carry health insurance.
All of that kind of stuff can be decided on a temporary basis. And and it can also look very different from what happens on a final. But basically, courts have the power to put together orders that, you know, will keep the parties, I guess, living and operating until the divorce can be decided. Is that is that a fair statement?
I say so. You know, Brian, I always try to tell clients that it's like every river in the world. Right. They all exist on a map. They've been flowing the way they've been flowing for hundreds of years sometimes. And that's how we can put it on a map. Well, court really at this point gets the opportunity once somebody files and decides, hey, we're going forward. The other party is either signed, a waiver has been served, and then the court gets to decide how that water is going to flow. Are they going to allow the water to flow the way it's been flowing prior to the filing of the divorce, or are they going to change the course of that river? And, you know, a lot of times changing the course of a river, it takes a substantial act. Right. It takes something of substance for a court to want to try to change things because courts like water follow the path of least resistance a lot of times. You know, they kind of look at it and say, if I don't need to change anything that isn't broke, I won't. It's you know, it's expedite expeditions for me as a court to not have to do a lot of work and change a lot of things, especially if the parties have already kind of conceded to putting things in place that are in place. And that's really where we're at is now.
We've filed what now?
So normally when that finally takes place, that's when you decide whether we are in heartbreak, warfare and we are going guns blazing or whether this is going to be an amicable, amicable divorce that we can all work out without having to go to court.
So let's just say for the sake of argument that this is World War 3, that John Mayer sulfur is in the air the whole bit.
Battle lines are drawn the whole bit. So what happens is one side usually the petitioner will file the petition and they'll usually ask for a series of things, whether that's child custody, a disproportionate division of property, spousal or child support.
All of those things will be brought up in an order and and typically will be brought up in a temporary order.
Now, the difference between a temporary order and a final order is nothing permanent can be decided in the temporary orders hearing. So they can't decide that, hey, we're going to sell the family home.
We're going to divide up the retirement account that comes later, that comes on the final. But what can happen in the temporary orders hearing is the court can kick somebody out of the house or they can decide who's gonna drive, what car, who's gonna have control of what bank account. So normally one side will file a petition.
And typically the petition will ask for some temporary relief. And then the other side will then file a counter petition and ask for their own temporary relief.
Or they can come to an agreement on, you know, a lot of agreements to get worked on in the hallways of courthouses all over the state, or they get worked out in a in a non-binding mediation setting where the parties sit down and see if they can mediate out a settlement or the judge decides. So talk to us a little bit about about that process.
Sure. I mean, I wish you would take a half step back. You just kind of like help, help our audience put it in context. So you got to understand that when somebody decides, okay, I'm ready to go forward, I'm going to file, you know, those two avenues that present themselves are, you know, an uncontested or contested procedure by uncontested, meaning that the opposing party, whoever's not filing, might be willing to sign a waiver. Well, I would caution everybody who's listening about signing or executing a waiver. And here's why. As a lawyer, I really advise my clients not to sign waivers. And the sole reason being is that waivers can have some dramatic effects if you sign it. You really don't know what you're doing. You're not a lawyer. You didn't go to law school or you know, that language is kind of buried in there. You could wave your rights in their entirety. Somebody could be able to get what we would call a default order subsequent to that without even notice to you. Just go into the courtroom with an order that says this is everything that I want. I don't care what they want. Judge, please sign it. And if you had executed a waiver unknowingly granting them the right to do that, the court would do that. So be careful with waivers. But let's say to your point, it's war, war 3. Everybody's kind of got their guns locked and loaded. And so in that situation, very rarely, if somebody's going to have signed a waiver in that situation, you're going to have served the other party with that original petition.
And in that, there's usually a counterpart, if we usually, you know, either the courts will have what's called a standing order. I know that, you know, in south Texas, a lot of the courts have standing orders as to people or persons and property. And these are think of them as Polaroid pictures. Right. It basically means the court has taken a picture once filed. This applies to both parties upon service. So the filing party typically on a standing order, it applies to then the second that they file that petition for divorce on the party, who's receiving that documentation? It typically doesn't apply to them until they receive actual notice, which is that service process server comes out, gives you the paperwork and says you're being sued for divorce. Now, what that what I mean by a Polaroid picture, it's basically something comes into effect, an order that says nothing's going to change. What I mean by that? Nobody's gonna have bonfires in the backyard with people's stuff. Nobody's going to have garage sales in the front yard and sell people stuff. We're not going to threaten harass each other. We're not going to remove the children from school. We're not going to withhold them from one another. We're not going to empty our bank accounts. We're not going to make big purchase off the electricity access. We're going to behave basically. And typically, those if it's a standing order, it's going to apply for the entire duration of the case.
Some counties, a standing order, a standing order is something that the county puts in place for every divorce case. No matter if you have the nicest two people in the world getting a divorce or you have World War 3, and that standing order is going to go into.
Absolutely correct. And some counties, like in North Texas, as an example, Tarrant County, they don't have a standing order.
So in that scenario, you got to talk to your lawyer, but you really want to have some strategy in place about the concerns that you have, because if you don't have a standing order, meaning that no, no Polaroid picture has been taken to preserve property or keep people from misbehaving, then you might need to get what we call a temporary restraining order in Texas. Now, in Florida, they don't have temporary restraining orders, only have injunctive relief. But in Texas, the way that. Mario would play out is you want the court to sign an order taking a picture if they don't already have one in place. So as an example, in Tarrant County, you go and you get a temporary restraining order. And that restraining order basically is usually a one way street, meaning that in this scenario, unlike a standing order which applies to all parties upon service, a restraining order typically only applies to one party, the party that's receiving the documentation. And that has a lot of strategies, especially if it's going to be World War 3, because if you're looking at it as a client, you're sitting there going like, hey, I'd love to be able to still move money or potentially sell an asset because I'm going to need those resources through the pendency of the divorce or whatever it may be. If you serve the other party with the temporary restraining order, then that party is restrained. You, however, are not. Now, once you get to a temporary orders hearing, a court is typically going to make those mutuel. They're going to make those rules apply to everybody. But their strategy to discuss with your counsel about when to do that. Why did do it and then what restrictions you potentially want in place.
And then one thing, what would that would might be a good option also is to send it to banks or various financial institutions. So that accounts so that they're on notice that if large withdrawals are being made from accounts and stuff like that, they note maybe put a hold on.
Oh, absolutely, Brian.
Because, you know, the big thing is it's still just a piece of paper. And if you don't let other third parties unknowingly know what's going on, then you can put yourself in a world of hurt. So even though you get that restraining order to your point, they still go take all the money out of the bank. You go to the bank and you're like, but I have a restraining order. And they're like, well, we didn't know. So, you know, it's a great point to make and definitely something you want to talk with your attorney about in advance of filing. But once you're in it, you definitely want to make sure you have rules in place. Now, let's say, Brian, that you go and you have a standing order to your point. Everybody has gone and got these rules. But that's really they're very vague. Right. It just basically says what you can't do. It doesn't tell you what you have to do. And that's the difference in a temporary order that will be issued by the court. So subsequent to that point, either you're going to reach an agreement about who stays with what, who pays what, who keeps what and how. What we're gonna do with the children. If you can't reach that agreement, then typically within 14, 14 days, 10 to 14 days after filing and service, then you're going to have a temporary orders hearing where you're either going to reach that agreement, likely call or straighten it out in the hallway. Right. Or you're going to go to court and the court's going to decide.
Now, keep in mind that the court is going to decide. I mean, some counties, they have very, very strict limitations on how long a temporary orders can hearing can go. Some like Collin County, for example. Is it still the 20 minute inside? Pretty much. Twenty five minutes? Yeah. So sometimes judges limited to an hour. They limit to a limit to two hours or or or sometimes they let you go a little bit. But the problem that you have is you're you're going to have to present a snapshot of the information. And the temporary orders hearing is like a mini trial.
And if you if, you know, like our old boss used to say, Sam, you're one of a you know, you as a party to the case of one of the two expert witnesses on your marriage and relationship. Right. And so so your your participation is going to be crucial and your the information you provide is going to be crucial.
So, you know, keep in mind that you need to let your attorney know where all the skeletons are buried or where are the skeletons in the closet or whether there's any any anything that that you're going to be blindsided with in court. Because these mini trials, there's a very limited amount of time to present information.
So lawyers oftentimes will throw whatever they can up against the wall and just see what sticks.
Well, you know, there's a lot of there's a lot of psychology behind that initial temporary order, too, that people should be aware of. First and foremost, you got to understand that we're creatures of habit, right? Human beings are.
And so one certain ordering plates, what ends up happening a lot of times as people get used to what comes out of it. And so, you know, a lot of times that's why people will come guns hot to these kinds of hearings and throw that and have that kind of strategy to throw everything but the kitchen sink in there, because they know that whatever order comes out is likely going to be in place for quite a while, because courts, you know, whether you're a court of general jurisdiction, meaning that you hear all different kinds of cases, not just spending cases, but criminal cases or civil litigation cases, or you're expensive as a specialized court, like a family law court that only hears standing on cases. It doesn't matter. All of those courts have heavy dockets, lots of people wanting lots of their time. And so that's why when you hear an attorney like we just talked about say, you know, these temporary orders hearings are very short flashes of time that you get in front of a judge to present the best case possible with the most information to allow them to make a determination.
What do you mean by and what you mean by heavy dockets? I mean, in Dallas County, for example, you're talking about, you know, a number of courts with thousands of cases being filed a month. So thousands of cases are being filed a month. And a lot of those I mean, let's just say, you know, 10 percent are looking for time in front of the court that that eats away at a lot of time that the court that the court doesn't really have.
Without a doubt. And, you know, if you talk to a client at the onset of a case and you say, okay, we're gonna reach an agreed temporary order, I always try to advise them, be careful what you put in these orders. One, because they have a tremendous affect on further orders later on, by the way, you start the water flowing. Can absolutely affect the case dramatically later on. Absolutely right. And the second part of that is that you have to understand that once you do this, you can cede certain things. So as an example, if your client, you have concerns about a spouse's ability to care for the children based on substance abuse systems, that as an example or emotional state of being, the last thing you want to do is come in and you can maintain and have access to those children without additional supervision or additional assistance or some oversight. Right. Because whether it's drug testing or alcohol testing or, you know, court supervision, whatever it may be, if you don't put that in that initial temporary order trying to raise that issue at final trial, subsequent to an order that says there's no restriction, pretty much waives that argument. And there's a lot of things like that that can trip people up, trip, you know, good lawyers up if they're not thinking through and forecasting what this agreement can mean if and when this case goes forward.
Yeah, you have to think about. I mean, I've been in front of courts and I was in front of a court in a small county one time where the judge, whether it was temporary or final, he made only one decision on custody and that's what he stuck with.
And that to make it difficult if you're if you're presenting. I mean, sometimes you don't have enough time to flush out all your evidence and a temporary order hearing. So it can be very, very difficult, because if a judge makes a ruling on custody, I don't know that they're likely to change that ruling.
You know, if they if they made it in a temporary orders hearing, unless they presented with some very persuasive evidence. So you have to look to your point. You have to make sure your you do the best you can on where that river is flowing. Oh, absolutely.
And in that, Bryan, I would tell you, you know, like judges, even with the. Heavy case loads that we're talking about, these thousands of cases that are pending. If you go to a temporary orders hearing and it's contested, meaning that you're going to put on evidence, witness testimony, documents, whatever it may be. I would tell you that judges are elephants and they have very long memories. And so if you think that, hey, you know what, I can get up and say one thing and then we come back and trial, my story may change or my concerns may change. And the judge isn't going to remember. I would tell you, that's the rare anomaly that something like that happens. Most of the time, judges sit down and go like, oh, hey, I remember this. I remember you. I remember the concerns that I had. I reviewed my notes. I reviewed the court order. And they know the facts. The basis is that they have a tendency towards issuing certain rulings based on facts and evidence that's presented.
So you really have to have a very strong strategy at this point, because once the fray begins, it's very difficult to backtrack. And so you have to have a solid game plan with your attorney as you sit down and think about do we have a temporary orders hearing? And if we don't have a temporary orders hearing, what are we going to agree to and what are the potential effects of those agreements? Because let's say you reach an agreement, Brian. You go in and you say, hey, I think we're going to kind of come by. You know, we're going to hold hands.
Everything's going to be nice. And we're gonna reach this great agreement. But I don't really like it. And so two weeks later, after you've reached this agreement and it's been entered as a temporary order, you decide, I really hate disagreement. You go to your lawyer and you say, I want to change it. What are you going to say, Brian?
I'm going to say, you know, that it's very difficult to get a temporary order changed once it's in place. Judges oftentimes don't like they have to have a serious change in circumstances in order to change a temporary order, usually because because the time is so I agree wholeheartedly.
They kind of look at it and say, look, you bought the bell of the bargain. You went up and hitched your horse to this wagon. And so you're going to have to write it for a while. And it's not like a revolving door where you can kind of come and go as you want in a courtroom. There's a lot of time and structure and preparation that has to happen.
And courts don't like to see you a lot, especially if they know if they know that, hey, look, they should really have settled the matter. You should have contemplated it before. We're now going forward and really get relitigating issues that potentially had had an agreement if it wasn't well thought out.
Yeah, you have to you have to make sure that those agreements are you know, if you're gonna agree to them that you understand what they are and you understand that you might have to live with them for a while.
But one thing, not to complicate the uncomplicated right, not to make it even more complicated, but a lot of the larger counties, parent county, Collin County, Montgomery County and Harris County, Dallas County, they all have they have what are called associate judges that sometimes will hear temporarily order here at our orders matters.
So you could go in there and theoretically and put on the greatest case, you know, ever and win everything that you want. And within just a few days time, the opposing side could file what's called a de novo review.
So if you're temporary orders hearing is put before an associate judge and you don't like the outcome, you could potentially appeal it to the district judge as long as you do so within, what, five business days?
Rick? Yes. Typically, you know, three to five business days, depending on where you're at and what the local rules are so different that they've changed that.
Yeah, they've changed that that rule a couple of times. But generally within just a few days, a few business days, you have to file a request for de novo appeal.
And what that means is you go in front of the district court judge and you basically have to do the whole thing over again. So if you've you've you've you've come in and you have all the sneak attack evidence and you present it and you've got what you wanted in the in the front of the associate judge.
Do you think that the other side's going to have an answer for all the sneak attack evidence? Once you get in front of the district judge, you're not gonna be able to run the same case out there. Second, the second bite at the apple never isn't sweet. So you have to understand that, you know, basically, I guess the caution to that is you have to understand the lay of the land. You have to understand what judge you're in front of. Whether it's an associate judge or a district judge, what are the likely outcomes are gonna be? And then you know what agreements you can make, if any, and then you know what's likely to happen? What's the next step after after the judge makes a decision?
Bryan. And thinking about that, I mean, we've talked about it on, you know, step one, which is really having a plan kind of establishing the flow of the water for the river so that by the time you get to court, you've kind of got the facts in place with them in place of the life that you want it to look like. As the court as the case progresses, you know, the challenge really happens. I think it's two part like two railroad tracks that run parallel to one another at this point, because there's a track that's going to absolutely deal with the financial side of a divorce. That's who pays what. Where does the money go? What happens to the paychecks? Right. No assets, no debts. But there's the other track that deals with children. And there's debts that potentially overlap.
So, you know, as an example, if you're paying all the bills, but you're deciding like, do I do I leave the House temporarily or do I do I stay?
Well, you know, making these kinds of decisions in an agreement can absolutely sway things.
Right? Because I. Absolutely. If somebody had. Right. Let's say you decide to leave the house. The other party stays in possession of the house and the children. And then at final trial, you want to come back in and say, I want the house and I want the kids and I want to be the primary parent. Whatever that might entail based on the state that you're in. Then I would tell you, a court will absolutely look at what you've been doing and look at how it's been working and how the kid's been doing. And what are the grades look like and how are the debts being paid and why? Why would I want to recreate something that you've already conceded?
It doesn't mean you can't win that, but you just really have to think through the long term implications of agreed decisions or if a court orders those. Let's say you go to court and you just don't get you. It's a bad day for you and your attorney and you don't get what you want. You really have to be prepared to ramp up the litigation to kind of get the right facts in place to change the court's mind, because now your case is actually going to take much more to be victorious on those issues.
And I would I would also tell you in this kind of ties in with that, I think I think you really need to have an honest conversation with your attorney and really get an understanding of what's going on in your case.
Because just just to give you an example, absolute let's just say it's a normal case. There's not any substance abuse or or spousal violence or or anything like that. It's just a normal case. I would I would generally say that it's difficult.
It's potentially difficult for a husband to win a case of custody against a stay at home mom, especially if the children are under the age of five. So you really have to have some honest conversations with your attorney about what you want and what's realistic and what are realistic options.
Because what you don't want to have happen is you don't want to go into court and, you know, ask for things that you absolutely have no chance of getting because, you know, the courts and oftentimes in the temporary orders hearing, they're going to look at what has been going on, who's been driving the minivan, what's been going on.
What have these people been operating on before they ever contemplated divorce? Well, if they if mom's been a stay at home mom, she's been getting the kids ready for school and take him to school and doctor's appointments. And that's been working well, then the judge might might be real likely to leave the status quo, that status quo, while the cases while the divorce cases pending.
Now things are going to change after the case is over with. But while a while a divorce is pending, the judge is more than likely going to keep the status quo in place. So you really have to have an honest conversation about what what you're shooting for and what and what's realistic to get one and exactly the preparation that you need to get into those temporary orders hearings to get that kind of relief.
Because if, you know, let's talk about, OK.
So you've made it to the temporary order and let's say you got everything that you want, right? You wanted the house, you wanted the kids. You wanted, you know, your other spouse and your spouse to be paying bills or giving you money. And you get all those things on a temporary order, whether it be from the associate judge or the district judge. And you're feeling like, hey, everything's great and grand, the world is over. That's not true and it's not true for either side. So what it typically means at this point, though, is that you're going to have to take a hard look in the mirror and really decide, because clearly, whatever you thought your plan was to be able to get that kind of relief and a temporary orders, it was insufficient. But it doesn't mean that you can't course correct through a case, because most cases, let's say, if you wanted to go all the way to trial, which is a rarity, but it does happen, you're going to go all the way to trial. You know, you're looking at if you go to a judge anywhere from a year to 18 months, typically if you go to a jury, which in the state of Texas, you can go to a jury in the state of Florida, you can't. But if you wanted to, I mean, that could extend it, you know, anywhere from 18 months to two years before you ever see a final trial date. A lot can change during that time period, but it's going to take a concerted effort of work and strategy between you and your counsel about what led to that temporary order or what issue, you know, what what led to that agreed order, you know, whatever the case may be and how to fix it best. And those are very detailed and intense conversations that you need to have with your attorney so that you can create a plan that's going to help you get to the point that you want to be in.
Yeah, and that's a good course. That's a good point. It's nothing to say that you can't course correct him. And a lot of things can change in a trial. So what you have to do is reset the narrative. You know, early on, if you get if you're if you're dealt a setback.
And in primary custody is important to you. Let's say you really have to. Of course, correct. And do the things that you need to do in order to give yourself the best chance to prevail in a final trial. So this temporary orders hearing is a good look at what a judge is likely to do. It doesn't mean that that's what the judge would do at final. But I will tell you that you need to have some honest conversations in terms of what's really going on. And then what you need to do to kind of change the narrative. Because if if you are trying to go for custody against that, stay at home, mom, then you're going to have to start changing the narrative. Maybe you're gonna have to change her work hours. Maybe you're gonna have to start, you know, picking up the half of the parenting responsibilities or taking the children to the doctor or start taking the kids to school or things like that, where you can start going where you can go into court and say, no, these are the things that I'm providing. So we're we're really more equal, equal partners in all of this. So it's something that that that you really need to have a good conversation with your lawyer about. Without a doubt.
The other piece of that, the flip side of the same coin, Brian, is on the financial side. Okay. Temporary. A lot of times what I advise clients is to be conservative on the finances because you have no idea how long the case is going to last. How long those temporary orders are going to be in place. I've done cases where we are able to, you know, two weeks pass the temporary order where Elmo, you know, 60 first day everybody reaches an agreement and we finalize the divorce. I've also done cases where it's two years past that temporary orders, initial issuance. And we're still fighting like cats and dogs in the courtroom. But that temporary order is still in place. And so what I tell you about being conservative, about the financial matters. Here's a perfect example. You know, you go in there and you think, hey, I'm the breadwinner, a mom, I'm a CFO. I make three hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. There's no issues are concerned. So I'm going to let stay at home, dad, stay in the house. I'm gonna pay him a big fat amount of child support, a big chunk of spousal support, because guess what? Money is not an issue.
I mean, I'm I'm pretty healthy. Everything's going great. So, yeah, anything that keeps him happy and makes it more likely that we're gonna reach an agreement, I'm going to put an agreed order. And then six months down the road, there's a Corona virus and your company happens to be a company based on tourism. And all of a sudden it's shut down and they're laying people off. And unfortunately, you happen to be one of them. So now that huge salary that you had in place is gone and but you still got these obligations that it's not and it's not a hey, I might want to do this. When you're court ordered to do something, you do it or there's some substantial and severe implications behind behind non-performance. So can you change them? Sure. But if you agree to them, rather than the court ordering them, there's a different kind of argument that you and your attorney are going to have to present when you get back into court. And that's something that you need to think through, think through the contingencies and consider being conservative as you approach those types of agreed orders.
And the last thing I would I would tell you is, you know, if you can if you can get an agreement on temporary orders, it sometimes is always best because it could that could be one round in a in a long war.
And, you know.
The more evidence you provide at a temporary orders hearing, the more evidence they know about. That could be presented at trial. So what I would say is that if you can get an agreement on temporary orders, do it.
But it's not always possible.
But sometimes it is a lot of like I said, a lot of courts are favoring alternative dispute resolutions for temporary orders, at least in my county, Montgomery County and Harris County, the biggest county in Texas. They require you to go to mediation before you have a contested hearing on temporary orders. So that gives you a good opportunity to sit down, come up with a plan and have both parties agree to it. Because like you said it. There is an emotional cost with all of this stuff. And even if you get everything you want in court on the day of. It doesn't mean that there isn't an emotional cost, that it really, really destroys the co-parenting relationship in a lot of instances, because you are going to have to go in there and show why you're why you're the better parent. And that's, of course, going to make the other parent.
Maybe not so good. You just going to make them upset and then they're going to lash out and then it's going to make it that much more difficult to deal with them. So there is an emotional cost to all of this stuff.
Yeah. Temporary. Or as I try to tell clients, Brian, that, you know, two things are going to come out of this typically. One, either we're gonna figure out that we're gonna need to fight more. Right. Or two, we're gonna have been able to narrow the issues and figure out that there's not a whole lot left for us to fight about. And that's typically the feeling that you're going to get after a temporary order hearing. A good temporary order is, you know, like a good mediated order. A lot of times everybody's unhappy. Everybody comes out and like, I didn't get all that I wanted, but I got some of what I wanted. But I don't feel like it was fair. But, you know, the other side feels like I got more than what I should have.
And you feel like they got more than what they should have. And that's usually a job doing a court, doing a good job. But in that, you know, the thing I would stress to everybody that's listening about temporary orders and this this is step two. Right. So you've already planned now you're in the courtroom. Now the battle is starting.
You know, what I would stress to everyone is it's not done at this point. Nothing is done. Typically, you haven't won and you haven't lost completely. You may have had a battle in it, not go your way and you feel like you've lost, but you haven't. But the thing about litigation that everybody knows and we've talked about multiple times. Brian, it doesn't matter what what area of law, whether it's civil litigation, bankruptcy litigation, probate litigation, family law, criminal law, litigating is expensive. It's an offense that it's taxing, to your point, not just on the emotional tax that you're going to pay to go through that kind of a fist fight. But the financial tax, because typically in a relationship, there's a pile of money.
And that pile of money, if you're going through a divorce, is very rarely ever gonna get larger during the divorce crystal time if you're going to consistently shrink. And so these kinds of fights can be very costly. And so you want to do you want to divide a pie or do you want to divide a charge? Right, exactly.
And so you just want to make sure that that's what's so important about having time with your attorney.
Planning out, you know, strategy, making sure that, you know, you're planning for the contingencies of winning and losing and issues and knowing like, hey, what are the really very important issues that I'm willing to continue to fight about?
And if I'm willing to do that, have I incorporated into my plan the financial tax that I'm going to have to pay to continue that? Because the worst thing that can happen to people is, you know, like there's nothing more important to people, Bryan, than everything that you work for all your life and your family. You know, those are the two things you're willing to die for. They're willing to go to go to the mattresses for it. And this is what we're dealing with in a family situation where we're going to divorce. You know, it could be a family business. It could be a sole proprietorship. It could be, you know, all the money that you saved in the world, whether that's five thousand dollars or five hundred thousand dollars. You know, this is a lifetime worth of work, of energy, of love. And, you know, so it could definitely set itself up. This first step to put people in a certain direction and give them a hard dose of reality.
You'll know if you're that, you know, business person who's traveling all the time and your spouse is a stay at home person and you didn't get primary, you're going to understand like I have to take that hard look in the mirror and make some tough decisions about my career so that I can potentially, you know, affect the outcome in the way that I wanted to, or if not, really look at it and say, I can't have that.
So what am I willing to accept in lieu of that? That's a, you know, a decent compromise. Well, I think I think you're right. And I think that just about wraps us up. Do you have anything else, Sam? No, no. I mean, I think this is a great, you know, step to obviously step three is now you're knee deep in the litigation and we'll talk about that next time. What does that look like? What can it be?
Yes. And I will off to a level look at, you know, what kind of expert witnesses could you possibly need? What kind of property valuations do you need? What kind of custody evaluations could you possibly need? And those are the kinds of things we'll tackle on episode, you know, on this. On the third part of our series.
Okay. Well, I think that's gonna wrap this up for today. I really appreciate you joining us. And if you want to have a console with either me or Sam, we can we are available and you can call the 800 number that it will be listed here at the end of the show. And if you have any questions we can help you out with. I really appreciate you joining us, Sam, telling us all about separating community property and have a great one.
I take it.
Thank you for listening. And we hope you enjoyed the top Texas Lawyers podcast. If you'd like to consultation with either Brian or Sam, please call 1 8 8 8 9 8 1 7 5 0 9. Or visit us on the web at A-s t.x. Legal dot com. Once again, that's A-s t.x. LPGA Yelp.com. Thank you very much.