Back To Court: The Burden Of Proof
If you want to change a temporary custody order, youll have to file a motion, write an affidavit , and collect other affidavits from professionals, neighbors, friends, and family members who support your motion.
In most states, the court will change or adjust the existing temporary order if the parent who claims the children are being harmed can prove it by showing a substantial change in circumstances. This means theres a clear and concrete difference in the way things were when the court issued the temporary order as compared to how things are in the present. In other words, the facts and circumstances have changed so much that the court must consider changing the temporary order to prevent further harm to the children.
How To Ask For A Temporary Order
To get a court order, you must prepare and file some paperwork. Fill-in-the-blank forms may be available for free from the court or online. Some courts have self-help law centers for family law cases, with forms and instructions for people representing themselves, and sometimes even employees, such as staff attorneys, who can help you with your forms.
Here’s what you’ll probably need:
In some courts, you won’t be allowed to file papers asking for a short hearing unless you’ve already filed for divorce. You can do both at the same time it just means filling out more forms so that you can get your divorce started at the same time that you ask for temporary orders.
Motions For Temporary Custody / Paternity Orders
It may take a while until your custody case is finished and the judge enters all the final orders. If there are some issues that you would like the judge to sort out while you are waiting for the final decision , you can find information on this page about how to ask for temporary orders, and how to respond to a motion for temporary orders filed against you.
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The Basics Of Motions To Vacate For Family Law Cases
If you are considering a motion to vacate there are a couple of important things to remember:
- Time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. Vacating judgments after one year has elapsed are very difficult, but possible.
- The clock runs from the date the judgment is signed by the Court, not the day that you received a copy of the judgment.
- The motion should be noted before the judge that issued the order. If thats not possible, note it before the chief civil judge in Snhomish County or the Chief Family Law Judge in King County. If you dont know what a note is or how to note a motion, see our court rules section. Remember when noting for King county to use the IC Note for Motion Docket.
Filing A Motion For Temporary Orders
Litigants should carefully review Rule 47 and its subparts to ensure compliance and avoid procedural denial. Basically, the rule requires the party seeking temporary orders to file a verified motion at the same time or after an underlying petition is filed. The underlying petition is critical to the motion for temporary orders. Without an underlying petition, the family court cannot enter temporary orders. It can be any type of petition, i.e. a petition for dissolution or legal separation, a petition to establish, or a petition to modify, but there must be a pending petition. No additional filing fee is required to file a motion for temporary orders and unrepresented litigants can use a form available at the local courthouse.
The rule enumerates additional requirements for specific types of orders, including legal decision-making and parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, division of property and debt, and attorneys fees. Sometimes both parties seek temporary orders. Our fictional divorce series provides an example of competing motions.
Once filed, the court will schedule a hearing and issue an order to appear. The order to appear must be served upon the other party or the other partys attorney, if represented, before the hearing. Usually the hearing will be a resolution management conference or a return hearing where the court will determine if sufficient grounds exist to set an evidentiary hearing on the motion.
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Motion To Vacate A Protective Order
If the individual who initially filed for protection asks for the order of protection to be vacated, she is often asked to confirm that she isnt being coerced or threatened into dissolving the protective order. If she agrees that she is no longer in danger, the judge will often declare the order vacated if he feels the reasons to dismiss a restraining order are valid.
Both situations follow the same process. The individual looking to make the change needs to obtain the correct paperwork, which can be found at a county clerk office, online or through a personal lawyer.
Shell then file the paperwork with the appropriate legal body and wait to hear from the judge in question as to the next steps and what shell need to have for the process to continue. She may need to file a restraining order removal letter. She should not bring the other party when getting a restraining order reversed. This can create legal problems for the other person and also create the impression that she is being forced into dismissing the restraining order.
Subd 6effect Of Dismissal Of Main Action
If a proceeding for dissolution or legal separation is dismissed, a temporary custody order is vacated unless one of the parties or the child’s custodian moves that the proceeding continue as a custody proceeding and the court finds, after a hearing, that the circumstances of the parties and the best interests of the child require that a custody order be issued.
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Learn About The Types Of Temporary Orders You Can Get In Family Court
Updated By Lina Guillen, Attorney
Typical lawsuits take months, if not years, to make it to court. But if you’re getting divorced and need a quick decision from a judge about who gets the kids, the car, the money in the bank accounts, or the house for now — or if you need money for support right away — obviously you can’t wait that long. You need a temporary order.
When couples separate, important issues are often resolved in a short hearing before a judge. Even though these quick hearings are less formal than standard court hearings, their brevity means that you must be prepared and know exactly what you want. You may have only a few minutes to ask for it.
If You Cannot Work Out An Agreement
If you do not work out an agreement, you will have a hearing. When you get into the courtroom, wait for the clerk to call your case. When the clerk calls your case, you and the other person will stand in front of the judge. The judge will give you both a chance to speak. The judge will then decide the motion based on what the two of you say and the papers you filed.
The judge will write up a temporary order with the decision. The judge may write up the order the same day and you will get a copy before you leave the court. If the judge writes the order later, you will get a copy in the mail.
The temporary order lasts until another court order changes it or until you get a decision at the end of the case. Sometimes temporary orders last a long time.
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What Can A Temporary Restraining Order Include
A TRO can include orders necessary to protect your property, your safety, or the safety of the children until a temporary orders hearing can be held.
In an emergency, a TRO can order a parent to stay away from a child until a hearing can be held.
A TRO cannot include orders for custody, or child support and cannot exclude a spouse from his or her residence.
In some counties, a TRO cannot include orders automatically made in a standing order.
You Did Not Receive Notice Of The Summons And Petition In Time To File A Response Or Act Properly
You did not receive notice of the summons and petition in time to file a response or act properly. This is for default judgments only . The law discussing this is Code of Civil Procedure section 473.5.
- This means that you did not actually receive or see a copy of the summons and petition. For example, if the summons and petition were served by posting the papers at the courthouse or by publishing them in a newspaper, it is possible you never saw the documents or knew that they were filed.
- In your request to the court, you must explain that the fact you did not receive notice of the summons and petition was NOT due to your own inexcusable neglect or because you avoided getting served.
Deadline to file the request for order
You must file a request for order to set aside under this law within a reasonable timeBUT there are strict deadlines:
- You must file the request for order to set aside within 2 years after the date when the default judgment was entered against you.
- The deadline is sooner if the court files show that you were served with a notice of entry of that default judgment. In this case, you must file the request to set aside within 180 days from the date you were served that notice.
- Although you may have up to 2 years, you have to act within a reasonable time. Do not wait to file once you find out about the judgment. Act quickly.
- You must file AND serve the request for order within this time period. Look at the instructions below regarding service.”
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Serving A Motion Later
Details About Orders Of Protection
As the order of protection is issued by a judge, its job is to declare these abusive actions illegal in a way that means violation of the order can result in arrest and jail time. The idea is that attaching penalties to the abusive behavior will prevent that individual from continuing with the abuse. An order of protection and a restraining order are very similar. Although they arent identical, they both try to stop harmful actions from occurring through a legal order.
Orders of protection can cover a range of activity, including:
- Telling an individual to stop abusing his spouse, relative, friend or children.
- Ordering an individual to have no contact with the specific party or parties.
- Ordering the individual to leave the home.
- Ordering an individual to pay certain shared expenses.
The first step is called an ex parte order of protection. This is a temporary document meant to address immediate danger while the suspected abuser is served notice of the filing. The second step is a full order of protection, during which both parties have the right to speak to the judge and make their cases known. Based on the evidence and the threat, the judge will decide the extent of the protective order and issue the final version.
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What Are Temporary Orders
Family law cases can take a long time .
While your case is pending , you may need orders about your children or use of your property. If so, you can ask the judge to make temporary orders.
Either party in a family law case can ask for temporary orders by filing a Motion for Temporary Orders. The judge will have a temporary orders hearing . The judge will then make temporary orders.
The temporary orders will last until a final order is signed by the judge .
What If Im A Grandparent Or Other Nonparent And Need To Temporarily Care For A Child
Temporary orders can only be made as part of a larger case . If you meet certain legal requirements you may be able to file a custody case. Use this toolkit: I need a SAPCR order. I am not the childs parent.
Another option may be for the parent to sign an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative or Voluntary Caregiver form. This form can be used to give a close relative temporary authority to care for and make decisions for a child. Unlike a custody order, a nonparent authorization agreement can be revoked by the parent at any time. Get more information and the form here: .
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Can Temporary Orders Be Changed
Yes, you can ask the Judge to change temporary orders by filing a Motion to Modify Temporary Orders. However, you must be able show a significant change in circumstances. Talk with a lawyer first. It may make more sense to set your case for a final hearing.
Forms to modify temporary orders are not available on TexasLawHelp.
How The Court Will Make A Decision
If you file a motion to change a temporary custody order, the judge may schedule a hearing to gather facts and information from all the witnesses. The court may, alternatively, choose to make a decision based on the affidavits and other paperwork you and the other parent submit. Quite often, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem or a custody evaluator to talk to the children and the adults and issue a set of recommendations.
In any event, the court will make a decision thats based on the best interests of the children, considering various factors, including:
- the quality of the relationship between the children and each parent
- the childs adjustment to the current home, school, and community
- the mental and physical health of everyone involved in the case
- the childrens preferences regarding custody, if theyre old enough to express a reasonable preference, and
- the childs culture, education, and religion.
When the court issues a new temporary order, you may or may not get custody. However, if you request that the court require both the children and the parents to attend appropriate counseling , and if a guardian ad litem supports your request, its reasonable to assume the court will at the very least order the kinds of measures that will help your kids feel healthier and safer. Often, if a court finds that visitation with one parent is putting the child in danger, a judge may order supervised visitation.
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The Order Was Made Against You Because Of Your Own Mistake Inadvertence Surprise Or Excusable Neglect
The order was made against you because of your own mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. The law discussing this is Code of Civil Procedure, section 473.
- This means if a court order order was made against you because you:
- Misunderstood the facts or the law and your misunderstanding was reasonable and justifiable , or
- Were unexpectedly surprised or failed to act in time because you relied on someone else acting, or you had the wrong information, or you were unable to understand what to do.
- For these situations, and other similar ones, you must have had a valid reason for your actions .
Deadline to file the request for order:
Important: For requests to set aside in a divorce or legal separation case, click here to learn how to file a request. Click here to learn how to respond to a request.
Temporary Orders Evidentiary Hearings
Before entering temporary orders or upholding emergency temporary orders, the family court will set an evidentiary hearing. The length of the hearing depends on the number of issues, their time-sensitivity, and the family courts calendar, which varies by county. Maricopa County family judges commonly set evidentiary hearings on motions for temporary orders for as little as thirty minutes to an hour because their calendars are extremely busy. Obviously this can make it challenging to present necessary evidence and testimony in such a brief amount of time.
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Dropping An Order Of Protection
Sometimes, after time passes, the individuals involved are able to overcome some of their issues. In some cases, the accused individual may feel that the terms are too restrictive, and he may decide to petition for the protective order to be altered or dropped.
In other cases, the individuals are able to work things out, and the protected individual will petition for the court order to be vacated, or dismissed. Both types of cases require the filing of paperwork, and they will often require another court appearance to address the judge.
Remember that vacating an order of protection will not affect your rights to get a new order if the other party resumes potentially dangerous behavior, according to the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness.