As I mentioned in my post on temporary orders hearings in Collin County, temporary orders are needed fairly often in family law cases. They address how property, custody and child support issues will be handled while the case is pending.
Temporary orders hearings in Dallas County are quite different from those in Collin County. If your case is placed on the standard docket, you will be set at either 9:00 or 1:30 along with several other cases. The judge will go through the docket and establish how long each hearing will take and prioritize the docket based on that information. If your hearing will take too long, you will be specially set for another day. If you are “specially set,” then your hearing will be the only hearing set during that time frame.
Dallas County courts do not typically set specific time limits for temporary orders hearings. However, if you tell the judge your hearing will last a certain amount of time, they will often hold you to that. I have had temporary orders hearings last thirty minutes, and I have had temporary orders hearings last all day. If I know a hearing will take longer than thirty minutes, I will try to get the hearing specially set right off the bat. This will save time and money by eliminating the need to show up for a hearing where there will not be time for the judge to decide your issues.
The temporary orders hearing works much like a mini-trial. The attorneys will usually give a brief opening statement. Then the Movant (the party who brought the motion for temporary orders) will call witnesses. The Movant’s attorney will ask direct examination questions and the other party’s attorney will cross examine the witnesses. After the Movant has called all of its witnesses, the other party will call its witnesses. When both sides are finished, the attorneys will give a brief closing statement. The judge will then enter a ruling. I always present the judge with a Summary of Relief Requested at the start of any temporary orders hearing. This way the judge will know exactly what relief my client is requesting.