Reprinted from the October 23, 2014 Mongoose newsletter.
Tex. Family Code Sections 157.004 and 157.005 provide deadlines to file enforcement actions regarding possession and child support, but neither has any specific provision regarding enforcement of temporary orders. Section 6.506 states simply that violation of a temporary injunction is punishable as contempt, but provides no deadline to bring a contempt action.
Thus,temporary orders can be enforced after rendition or entry as long as the final order does not discharge the parties from their obligations under the temporary orders. Settlement agreements often do not resolve this issue.
There is usually a period of several weeks between rendition (when the judge rules) and entry of the final order. The case law makes it clear that the temporary orders remain in effect until the final order is signed. Pettus v. Pettus, 237 S.W.3d 405, 416 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2007, pet. denied). Some older cases suggest that temporary orders can continue after the final order if the final order does not change those temporary orders. See e.g., Mathis v. Mathis, No. 04-95-00386-CV, 1996 WL 668849, at *3 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Nov. 20, 1996, no writ) (not designated for publication) (holding that trial court had discretion to continue temporary orders, which stated that they would “continue in full force until the signing of the final decree or until further order” of the court, after entry of decree).