Every jurisdiction has its own rules for how the family law court system works. Dallas County is no different. It is a large county, which means there are many courts assigned to family law matters. There is some specific information relevant to Dallas County that you may find helpful.
Dallas County has Specialized Family Law Courts
Because of the size of the county, there are specialized courts. For example:
- Some family courts are dedicated to handling issues concerning protective orders.
- Some family courts only handle family law issues concerning substance abuse.
There is a backlog of cases waiting for the final litigation of the divorce case. The specialty courts make it possible for those with one of these issues to have at least a temporary resolution of these specific issues.
Local Rules of Court
Dallas family law courts have local rules that affect all divorce cases. When the divorce petition is filed, there is a Dallas County Standing Order that goes into effect. It mainly tells the spouses to “play nice” and keep the status quo until the judge can hear and decide the case.
For example, both spouses are instructed not to sell assets or drain bank accounts. There are other standing orders concerning minor children of the marriage, if any, that your attorney will discuss with you.
A solution to the Backlog in the Court System: Collaborative Divorce
The court system is still backlogged from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is easier to get a hearing for a temporary order by Zoom or in person than it is to get a date for a final hearing. Sometimes, after hearing evidence for a final hearing, the Judge will take the matter “under advisement.” And of course, one or both parties might appeal the Judge’s ruling which further delays the resolution.
Many spouses are turning to the collaborative divorce process. This puts the timing and the outcome of the divorce in the hands of the two spouses. They do not need to wait for a court date. Instead, they work together with their attorneys and a team of experts, such as financial experts, child psychologists, and more, to handle the touch decisions for their family. They receive advice and guidance and together, they make their own final divorce agreement which, if they have children, includes a parenting plan.
They then file that with the court. In 99 percent of cases, the court approves the plan. This is a process that is not adversarial, so there is no need for costly and contentious litigation.
For More Information About Divorce Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Dallas Family Law Attorney, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800.