Ex Parte is the act of appearing in front of a judge without all sides of a case present. It literally means “for one party.” In the legal arena, it means that one party (usually the wife) appears or has appeared before a judge without the other side present. In short, only one side gets to share their side of a story with a judge.
When this happens in Dallas County, the judge based in Dallas or McKinney has to decide whether to grant the wife’s request for relief without the husband even knowing that their wife was in court. If the judge grants the wife’s request, the judge writes an “ex parte order” that must be served on the husband. Although not always, the ex parte order is heavily in favor of the wife (or person who sought it).
Absolutely. Theoretically, ex parte relief is suppose to be rare and limited to extreme circumstances. In reality, ex parte relief is granted all the time, and, yes, it can vary based on the judge. Ex Parte Orders can be abused because of their ability to set the tone of a case.
Some judges operating in Dallas or McKinney are more apt to grant them than others. Typically, judges in McKinney (Collin) and Plano (Tarrant) counties are more conservative in granting them in comparison to Dallas County judges in Dallas and McKinney, but this too can vary.
If you are researching this term, it’s probably because you’ve just been served with an ex parte restraining order. Normal divorce cases don’t have a need for ex parte relief. Divorce cases that do require some sort of temporary relief (rules) usually go straight to the motions calendar without the use of the ex parte department.
If you’ve been served with an ex parte restraining order, it’s bad news. How bad? It depends on what relief your wife or spouse got from the judge at the time her attorney appeared in front of the judge. Restraining orders can do a variety of things. They can freeze bank accounts.
They can prevent you from seeing your kids. They can even kick you out of your home. If you’ve just been handed an ex parte restraining order, see our page on what to do when you have been handed one.
If you need help understanding your ex parte order, you can contact Engel Law Group, P.S., to arrange a consultation.