Standing orders are orders that applies in every divorce suit and every suit affecting the parent-child relationship where required by local rule, as a divorce lawyer can explain. No party to this lawsuit has to request this order but it is designated by local rule. The District Courts have adopted this order because the parties, their children and the family pets should be protected and their property preserved while the lawsuit is pending. Therefore, here is a simple breakdown of what standing orders entail:
NO DISRUPTION OF CHILDREN
All parties are to refrain from doing the following acts concerning any children who are subjects of this case:
· Removing the children from the State for the purpose of changing residence, acting directly or in concert with others, without the written agreement of both parties or an order of this Court.
· Disrupting or withdrawing the children from the school or day-care facility where the children are presently enrolled, without the written agreement of both parents or an order of this Court.
· Hiding or secreting the children from the other parent or changing the children’s current place of abode, without the written agreement of both parents or an order of this Court.
· Disturbing the peace of the children.
· Making disparaging remarks regarding the other party in the presence or within the hearing of the children.
PROTECTION OF FAMILY PETS OR COMPANION ANIMALS
All parties are to refrain from harming, threatening, interfering with the care, custody, or control of a pet or companion animal, possessed by a person protected by this order or by a member of the family or household of a person protected by this order.
CONDUCT OF THE PARTIES DURING THE CASE
No party to the suit should use vulgar, profane, obscene, or indecent language, or a coarse or offensive manner to communicate with the other party, whether in person or in any other manner, including by telephone or another electronic voice transmission, video chat, social media, in writing, or electronic messaging, with intent to annoy the other party. Including the following:
• Threatening the other party in person or in any other manner, including; by telephone or another electronic voice transmission, video chat, social media, in writing, or electronic messaging, to take unlawful action against any person, intending by this action to annoy or alarm the other party.
• You should not place one or more telephone calls or text messages, at an unreasonable hour.
• Intentionally, knowing or recklessly causing bodily injury to the other party or to a child of either party.
• Threatening the other party or a child of either party with imminent bodily injury.
PRESERVATION OF PROPERTY AND USE OF FUNDS DURING DIVORCE CASE
If this is a divorce case, both parties to the marriage are to refrain from intentionally and knowingly doing the following acts which is the largest section of standing orders and is taken quite seriously:
· Destroying, removing, concealing, encumbering, transferring, or otherwise harming or reducing the value of the property of one or both of the parties.
· Falsifying a writing or record including an electronic record, relating to the property of either party.
· Damaging or destroying the tangible or intellectual property of one or both of the parties.
· Tampering with the tangible or intellectual property of one or both of the parties.
· Selling, transferring, assigning, mortgaging, encumbering, or in any other manner alienating any of the property of either party.
· Incurring any indebtedness, other than legal expenses in connection with this suit, except as specifically authorized by this order.
· Making withdrawals from any checking or savings account in any financial institution for any purpose, except as specifically authorized by this order.
· Spending any sum of cash in either party’s possession or subject to either party’s control for any purpose, except as specifically authorized by this order.
· Withdrawing or borrowing in any manner for any purpose from any retirement, profit-sharing, pension, death, or other employee benefit plan or employee savings plan or from any individual retirement account or Keogh account, except as specifically authorized by this order.
· Signing or endorsing the other party’s name on any negotiable instrument.
· Destroying, disposing of, or altering, any financial records of the parties.
· Modifying, changing, or altering the native format or metadata of any electronic data or electronically stored information relevant to the subject matter of the suit for dissolution of marriage.
· Deleting any data or content from any social network profile used or created by either party or a child of the parties.
· Using any password or personal identification number to gain access to the other party’s email account, bank account, social media account, or any other electronic account.
· Taking any action to terminate or limit credit or charge cards in the name of the other party.
· Terminating or in any manner affecting the service of water, electricity, gas, telephone, cable television, or other contractual services, such as security, pest control, landscaping, or yard maintenance at the other party’s residence or in any manner attempting to withdraw any deposits for service in connection with such services.
· Excluding the other party from the use and enjoyment of the other party’s specifically identified residence.
PERSONAL AND BUSINESS RECORDS IN DIVORCE CASE
Concealing or destroying any family records, property records, financial records, business records or any records of income, debts, or other obligations; falsifying any writing or record relating to the property of either party.
INSURANCE IN DIVORCE CASE
In any manner altering the beneficiary designation on any life insurance on the life of either party or the parties’ children. Canceling, altering, or in any manner affecting any casualty, automobile, or health insurance policies insuring the parties’ property or persons including the parties’ minor children.
PARTIES ENCOURAGED TO MEDIATE
The courts encourage parties to settle their disputes amicably without court intervention. The parties are encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or informal settlement conferences (if appropriate), to resolve the conflicts that may arise in this lawsuit.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into divorce law.