Last week I wrote about standing orders, specifically Dallas County’s. This week we’ll continue to discuss the provisions of the Dallas County Standing Orders, and what they mean for your case.
We last left off on section four of the orders. As previously mentioned, these provisions deal with community property and how it is to be handled during the divorce. In addition to preventing spouses from liquidating and selling off community assets, section four also prohibits the destroying of financial records, electronically stored information relating to the case, and any data or content from social media. That means you cannot go and scrub all of the pictures of your soon to be ex just because you are divorcing them. You are also prohibited from terminating or changing the limits on credit cards and opening or redirecting your spouse’s mail.
Section five deals exclusively with personal and business records. Its provisions are very simple. Don’t destroy, hide, or forge any records relating to you are your spouse during the case. Section six concerns insurance policies. During a case you cannot withdraw or borrow money from life insurance policies on either you or your spouse. You also cannot change your beneficiaries from your spouse or children while the suit is ongoing. And finally, you cannot cancel or alter your auto, life, or health insurance policies.
Section seven provisions are important, because they are specific authorizations to what you can do during a divorce or suit affecting the parent child relationship. You are allowed to engage in acts reasonable and necessary to conduct your usual business and operation. Meaning that if you run your own business and you have a bank account for that business, you can continue to spend as necessary to ensure your business continues as normal. You are also allowed to pay reasonable living expenses. The key word here is reasonable. So, things like food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and transportation are ok. Things like a new boat or 80-inch OLED television are not. And lastly you are permitted to use community funds to hire an attorney to represent you.
There are four other provisions at the end of the orders that I won’t cover. That’s not to say they aren’t important, but they don’t lay out the automatic do’s and don’ts like the other provisions. If you would like to examine a copy of the Dallas Standing Orders they can be found dallascounty.org. If you are currently involved in a divorce or case concerning your child in Dallas County and would like to know how the orders apply to you, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email, I’ll be happy to explain further.