Home FAQ's
Process Contact Directions Forms Resource

Richard J. Tholstrup - Litigated Divorce Attorney

The Tholstrup Law Firm, L.P.

440 Louisiana, Suite 800
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713.225.1280 Fax: 713.225.1344
E-Mail:  tholstru@sbcglobal.net
Home Page:  www.tholstruplaw.com

Richard J. Tholstrup - Houston Attorney

Temporary Orders Hearings in Texas

Temporary Orders Hearing - What to Expect

The first court appearance for many people is that of the temporary orders hearing in a family law case.  The following are provided as guidelines to help reduce the anxiety of that first appearance.

When do I need to arrive - what if I am late

All of the Harris County family law courts have regular docket call at 9:00 am, except the 245th (10:00 am) and 247th (9:30 am).  As a result, getting through the metal detectors at the peak of the 9:00 am crowd can take 10-20 minutes.

Our offices are approximately 10 minutes from the courthouse, and the attorneys have ID badges that allow them to bypass the metal detectors.  As a result, we do not normally arrive more than a few minutes before docket call unless there are multiple appearances (more than one case going on that day) which require a check in with the courts for late appearance due to being in another court.

Although you should make every effort to be on time, if you are running late, do not panic.  Docket call usually takes about 30 minutes, and the attorney will announce that you are on your way and have been delayed.

What to Wear/Housekeeping

  • Business casual clothing is appropriate.  No shorts, flip flops, etc.
  • Turn off your cell phone or pager and do not chew gum while in the courtroom.
  • You should take a seat in the gallery of the courtroom.  If your case is called before your lawyer arrives, stand up and announce, “my lawyer is Richard Tholstrup/Christine Thrash and he/she is on his/her way”.

Docket Call

Docket call is how the court organizes its day.  The judge will call out each case and the lawyers respond by announcing the issues in controversy and the amount of time needed if a hearing is necessary.

Some mornings, a particular court may have a very heavy (long) docket because of Attorney General cases, CPS cases, or District Attorney protective order cases being heard that day.  The court will always encourage the parties/attorneys to resolve as many issues as possible in the hall and may require mediation prior to a hearing being allowed to go forward.

Negotiation/Referral to Mediation

Harris County, Texas annually processes either the first or second largest number of family law case load of all the counties in the U.S., so the courts welcome alternative dispute resolution to reduce their docket load. 

Additionally, over the last 15 years or so, mediation has been proven to be a valuable tool to both the participants and the courts, and is required before final trial, and may be a requirement of the court prior to a hearing on temporary orders.  On a party’s request, the court will almost always order mediation.


The testimony at a temporary orders hearing is limited to

  1. possession and access of children
  2. temporary use or sale of property, and
  3. temporary child and/or spousal support.

Unless child custody is hotly contested, there is generally not a need for the attorney to interview witnesses in the office prior to the hearing.  The only preparation by the client is that of filling out the Financial Information Statement that can be found on the “Client Forms” page of this website.  The client should bring copies of their last two years tax returns and last two pay stubs to the hearing if they have not previously provided those documents to the attorney.

Visit this section often for more information about the Harris County Courts and Texas Family Law. Click the following link if you need a Divorce Attorney in Houston.