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Requests for Orders During Your Divorce or Legal Separation

Once you have filed your Petition(Form FL-100) asking for a divorce or legal separation, you can ask for temporary orders while your case moves ahead. Some typical temporary orders people ask for are custody and visitation of the children, child support, or spousal/partner support. But, there maybe be other orders like, temporary use of an item of property, like a car, until the divorce or separation resolves the final division of property.

Either spouse or partner can make these requests, but keep in mind that if you are the Respondent (if your spouse or partner filed the case and you are responding to the Petition), you have to file a Response (Form FL-120) before or at the same time as your Request for Order. You cannot file a Request for Order if you have not filed a Response in the case.

Click on the topic below that describes the type of order you want to request while your divorce or legal separation case is in process:

For other types of requests while your divorce or separation case in in process, follow these steps: 

  1. Fill out your court forms
    Fill out:
    • Request for Order (Form FL-300). You can use the Information Sheet for Request for Order (Form FL-300-INFO) for information.
    • Temporary Emergency Orders (Ex Parte) (Form FL-305) if you want the judge to make temporary orders to go into effect BEFORE the court hearing that will be scheduled. If you are asking for temporary emergency court orders, you will likely have to notify the other side before filing your Form FL-300 that you are seeking temporary emergency orders. Your court may have local rules about this and a local form for you to fill out. You can also use the Declaration Regarding Notice and Delivery of Request for Temporary Emergency (Ex Parte) Orders (Form FL-303). Ask your court's family law facilitator or self-help center for help understanding this step.
    • Any other forms or documents you need to support your request, like financial declarations, witness statements, or other documents. Ask a lawyer or your court's family law facilitator if you need to know what else you need to fill out or attach to your request.
    On Form FL-300, check all the applicable boxes about the orders you want. If you do not see the type of order you want on the form, check box 8 for "Other relief" and list the orders there. You can use item 10 to explain why you want these orders or use an Attached Declaration (Form MC-031). Remember, ff there are other related forms you had to complete to make your request, attach those too.

    Note: A Request for Order (Form FL-300) does not necessarily mean the other side has to show up to the court hearing. In some cases, you may want or need the other side to come to court. To find out more about how to make sure they come to court or whether it would be helpful in your case, click to learn about Notices to Attend a Hearing and Subpoenas..

  2. Have your forms reviewed
    If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps people with orders related to a divorce, ask them to review your paperwork. They can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case. And, again, make sure you ask them if there are any local forms you need to fill out in addition to the forms listed here.
  3. Make at least 2 copies of all your forms
    One copy will be for you; the other copy will be for your spouse or domestic partner. The original is for the court.
  4. File your forms with the court clerk
    Turn in your forms to the court clerk. He or she will keep the original and return the copies to you, stamped “Filed.” You will have to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
  5. Get your court date
    The clerk will give you a court date and write it on your Form FL-300.
  6. Serve your papers on your spouse or domestic partner.
    Have someone other than yourself (and at least 18 years old) serve your spouse or domestic partner with a copy of your papers and a blank Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (Form FL-320).
    • If Item 7 in the section called "Court Order" on your Request for Order (Form FL-300) is checked, your papers MUST be served in person at least 16 court days before your court date. If Item 7 is not checked, but other items in the "Court Order" section are checked, you may also need to have your spouse or domestic partner served in person. Ask the family law facilitator or self-help center to make sure you know if you must have your papers served in person.
    • If there are NO check marks in the "Court Order" section and no temporary emergency court orders, you can probably serve your spouse or domestic partner by mail. But if you serve by mail, you must do it at least 16 court days before the hearing plus 5 calendar days for mailing. Ask the family law facilitator if you are not sure if you can serve your papers by mail. If you are the Petitioner in the divorce, you cannot serve by mail if you have not yet served your spouse or domestic partner with the divorce Petition (Form FL-100 or FL-103) and the Summons.
    Get more information about “service.” Look at the front of Form FL-300 to see if the court ordered you to serve any other documents.
  7. File your proof of service
    Have your server (the person or persons who mailed or hand-delivered your papers to your spouse or domestic partner) fill out a proof of service (you can use Proof of Personal Service (Form FL-330) or Proof of Service by Mail (Form FL-335)) and give it to you so you can file it with the court. It is very important that your server fills out the proof of service correctly. If possible, have your family law facilitator or self-help center review it to make sure it was filled out properly.
  8. Go to your court hearing
    Go to your court hearing and take a copy of all your papers and your Proof of Service. Read Going to Court to find out how to prepare for your court hearing.

After the court hearing

Once the judge makes a decision at the court hearing, the judge will sign a court order. In some courtrooms, the clerk or court staff will prepare this order for the judge’s signature. In other courtrooms, it is the responsibility of the person who asked for the hearing to prepare the court order for the judge to sign. If either side has a lawyer, the lawyer will usually be asked to prepare the order.

If you have to prepare this order, you will need to fill out the Findings and Order After Hearing (Form FL-340), and an attachment detailing the orders that the judge made.

Remember, the family law facilitator or self-help center may be able to help you with these forms.

And keep in mind that even though you have these court orders in place, you still have to finish up your divorce case. Do not forget to complete the rest of the paperwork and processes that are required for your divorce to become final.

Sours: https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-divorcerequests.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en

Request for Order Hearing: What to Expect

Request for Order Hearing: What to Expect

When parties cannot come to agreements during a divorce or custody proceeding, one will usually file a request for order. A request for order asks the court to make or change a decision about an issue in your case. Usually, requests for order relate to child custody and visitation, child support, spousal or partner support, property control, and attorneys fees and costs. In Monterey, when you file a request for order, the court sets a hearing date. This article gives you an idea of what to expect at a request for order hearing, so that you can be best prepared.

Arriving at Court for Your (RFO) Request For Order Hearing

Please arrive at the court about 15 minutes prior to your scheduled hearing time. In Monterey, the main court is located at 1200 Aguajito Road. If your request for order is solely about child support, your hearing may be at the Marina court, which is at 3180 Del Monte Boulevard. 
Remember, looks matter (even if we think they shouldn’t). Don’t let your appearance be a distraction. Dress conservatively, with shoulders covered, in neat, clean clothes. Dress as if you are going to meet someone’s grandmother for the first time. Hair should be clean, combed, and pulled back from the face if it’s long enough. Makeup should be subtle.
When you go inside, you will walk through a metal detector. From there, the family law courtrooms, called Department 16 and Department 17, are to the right of the metal detector, on the first floor. In Marina, the family law courtroom is Department 21, and is the last door in the hallway to the right of the metal detector.
You may not bring the following items into the courthouse:
  • Knives
  • Weapons
  • Scissors
  • Other sharp items, including knitting needles longer than three inches
  • Firearms — EVEN if you have a conceal and carry permit
  • Illegal drugs
  • Photography equipment
  • Video recording equipment
  • Audio recording equipment
  • Children who have any involvement in the case (even if they are over 18)
Your attorney will meet you in the courtroom. The courtroom itself will not open until the scheduled hearing time (sometimes they even open a few minutes late).

In the Courtroom

Once inside the courtroom, clients generally sit in the gallery (the rows of seats). Monterey courts prefer that attorneys sit in the jury box. So, after your attorney checks in with the bailiff, they will go sit in the jury box with other attorneys who are there on other cases. Soon after that, the judge will come out. Everyone stands when the judge comes out, and sits with the judge sits down.
There are a number of court personnel in the courtroom. The judge, who will be seated in the middle and wearing a black robe, makes ultimate decisions about your case. The bailiff, a Monterey County Sheriff, is present to maintain order in the courtroom, and keep everyone safe. The court clerk assists the judge in calling cases, and scheduling future hearings.
In some cases, there is also an interpreter present, to translate English to Spanish. If you need an interpreter, let the court clerk or bailiff know right away. Finally, some courts also have a court reporter. The court reporter transcribes the proceedings, writing down who is in court, and every word that is said. The transcripts can be ordered from the court reporter if there is ever an issue about what happened at a hearing.

Court Proceedings

In general, the judge will call “easy” cases first. Usually, the easy cases involve parties who have come to an agreement before the hearing, or parties who want to continue out their hearing to a new date.
If your request for order hearing is in Marina and involves child support, the judge makes a presentation about child support and how courts in California calculate child support. This presentation can last about twenty minutes.
If your request for order hearing involves child custody and visitation, sometimes the judge will require that you go out and talk to a mediator or court liaison in the hallway (even if you already talked to a mediator). If you reach an agreement, the mediator will read the agreement on the record. In addition, as cases get called, it’s usual for attorneys to step outside to the hallway to try to reach agreements.

Speaking to the Judge

At some point, the judge will call your case. At that point, you and your attorney will go to the front of the courtroom. If you are the Petitioner in the case, you will sit in the very right seat, and your attorney will sit next to you. The Respondent sits on the very left seat. If a party requires a translator, the translator will usually sit next to that party. If this is a child support case, an attorney from the Department of Child Support Services will sit in the middle.
The judge will have already reviewed the documents submitted by you and the other side. The judge will likely ask the attorneys some questions. In general, the judge will direct the questions to the attorneys, and not to the parties. If there is something specific you want the judge to know, you can talk to your attorney, and your attorney will inform the judge of anything you want them to know.
Sometimes, the judge will want the party to answer something directly. In that case, the judge will have the court clerk swear you in, meaning that you promise under the penalty of perjury to tell the truth. Make sure that you speak up! Speak close enough to the microphone so that the judge can hear you. Referring to the judge as “your honor,” “sir,” or “ma’am” is a recommended sign of respect.
If the judge needs more information from a legal perspective, they will ask the attorneys to argue their positions. Ultimately, the judge determines the outcome of the requests.
Please note, if you have a (RFO) request for order hearing that involves child support and another issue, the hearing may be set for the Monterey court. But, at that hearing, the court may set out another date in the future for the child support issue to be heard in the Marina courthouse.
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Sours: https://www.attorneycornwall.com/request-for-order-hearing/
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Request for Order Motions in Orange County, California

Divorce, Separation and Paternity Lawyers – Information about Motions

The “law and motion” practice in California family law cases is conducted through a motion called a “Request for Order” or RFO.  This means that whenever a family law litigant wishes to ask the court to make any temporary orders, or any post-judgment orders, they will file a motion.  A motion then sets a hearing date.  The form that is filed is called a Request for Order, which is simply a motion.

An RFO might be filed for any of the following topics:

  • Request for child support or temporary alimony
  • A motion to modify a temporary or permanent child or spousal support order
  • A request to sell a family residence
  • A request for child custody and visitation orders
  • A request for a parent to be allowed to “move away” with a child out of the Orange County area
  • Requests for payment of health insurance
  • Requests for reimbursement of money
  • A motion to determine child and/or spousal support arrears
  • A motion to restrict the liberties of a party in violation of the Automatic Temporary Restraining Order

The Request for Order (FL-300) form is a four-page form that provides the opposing party with notice of what is being sought with the motion.  The first page of the form provides the other side with the date and time of the hearing.  When the RFO form is filed, the court clerk will provide this date to you.  If financial issues are addressed in the motion, you will need to complete an Income and Expense Declaration. The second and third pages of the motion have boxes to check for the “standard” requests that are most commonly filed, including requests for custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, payment of certain debts or obligations, control of certain assets, and attorney fees. At the bottom of the third page, there is a place to request any other relief you need.  The last page provides you with room to provide your statement or declaration; however, you should probably attach a separate document as the space for writing your statement is very small.

What is not included on the form is the most important part of a motion, which is a description of what your “declaration” (also referred to as a “statement” or “affidavit”) needs to include.  A declaration is signed by the person seeking the motion and sets forth the reasons for the motion.  It is unclear with the form how detailed such a statement or declaration should be, and this is where a qualified attorney comes in handy.  It is a fine skill to prepare a declaration that is succinct (judges can have up to 20-30 motions to hear  in one day) but gets the information necessary to the judge to make a favorable ruling.

It is helpful to review the applicable sections of the Family Code concerning what relief you are requesting.  For example, before filing a motion for custody and visitation of a minor child you should have a basic idea of what the court will consider when making custody orders.  Likewise, when seeking child or spousal support it would be prudent to have a working knowledge of how these issues are handled.  Our attorneys have years of experience handling motions concerning every conceivable family law issue.

To learn more about motions and Request for Orders, contact our office today.  We offer a free, private meeting to discuss your case and options.  We are conveniently located in Irvine on the Newport Beach border near the airport.

Sours: https://www.orangecountydivorce.com/motions-in-family-law-cases-in-orange-county-request-for-orders-rfo/
The Three Reasons People Lose Custody of Their Children in Family Court

The other parent filed a Request for Orders (RFO) asking for child custody and visitation orders. Can I make a request from the court if it is not a specific relief requested by the filing party?

No. By way of example, if Dad files an RFO requesting an alternate weekend visitation only, Mom cannot file a response to the RFO and request that the children get braces or request that Dad pay child support. The responding party may only respond to the issues set forth in the initial RFO. If visitation is an issue, the responding party can only address the issue of the proposed schedule. If the responding party is requesting child support or any relief besides visitation, they must file their own RFO. However, if something is directly related to an issue such as visitation, the court will consider the request even if no such relief is requested in the initial RFO. For example, the responding party can request that exchanges occur at a particular location. Finally, it merits a discussion if you are faced with a parent filing an RFO for visitation without addressing the support issue. If this happens to you, it is imperative to send written communication to the other parent requesting that they address this issue with you either at or before the hearing. If they refuse, you can attach the written exchange to your RFO and Court can consider this in making an attorney fee award.

Sours: https://www.covinadivorcelawyers.com/covina-divorce-blog/2018/march/the-other-parent-filed-a-request-for-orders-rfo-/

Hearing rfo

Order to Show Cause – Request for Orders

A Request for Order (RFO) – formerly called an Order to Show Cause, or OSC, is a request by a party for the court clerk to set a hearing so the judge assigned to the case can make certain orders. An RFO is served on the party to whom it is directed, requiring that party to appear at a specified time and show cause why the relief requested by the applicant should not be granted. A hearing will then follow.

In Family Law, an RFO may be filed for various purposes including requests for temporary support, custody and visitation, restraining orders, and contempt orders.

An application for an order and the supporting declaration must be made on certain judicial counsel forms.

For more information on filing an RFO or Order to Show Cause, call our offices at (619) 284-4113. Our attorneys have access to the required court forms necessary to request an Order to Show Cause hearing and are experienced in filing such matters.

Sours: https://www.wf-lawyers.com/order-to-show-cause/
15JUL2010 Family Law Hearing and false accusations of contempt 1/2

Request for Orders in Family Court

A request for order, or RFO, is the act of formally asking a judge to make orders in a legal matter. If the judge issues the requested orders the orders become enforceable by the court's contempt power. For example, a person may ask a judge to modify spousal support, establish child custody rights, or divide community property, etc; all of these requests would be intitiated by a legal process called a request for order (RFO).

Note: The term RFO used to be called Order to Show Cause (OSC) in family court. The term OSC is still used in some courts, such as criminal court, but family court now uses the synonym RFO. This article discusses an RFO as it relates to family law court.

Requesting an Order in Family Court

Required standardized legal forms are used in almost every RFO in family law court. After an RFO is started there are non-standardized documents that may also be required in order to prosecute or defend the filed RFO. For example, an RFO related to a child support case requires the use of standardized legal forms in order to start the case; however, after the child support case is filed, non-standardized forms, such as requests for information of the opposing party’s income and expenses (discovery), may be necessary. Preparation of non-standardized documents, such as discovery requests and/or responses, evidentiary motions, declaration(s), etc, should be handled by a family law attorney.

See Family Law Legal Forms for an abbreviated list of common required standardized legal forms related to family court RFOs.  

RFO Legal Requirements

The required family law legal forms must be fully completed and timely filed and/or served with the court and/or opposing party depending on the nature of the form. For example, legal forms related to the commencement of the RFO are filed with the court and served on opposing party, whereas subsequent requests for financial information (discovery) is usually served on opposing party only (not the court).

Service of RFO forms: Legal forms and documents related to an RFO must be timely served on opposing party to ensure fairness in the legal matter (no surprise hearings or surprise evidence allowed). The amount of time a party has to file and/or serve an RFO, and the amount of time a party has to respond to the RFO, depends on the type of RFO the requesting party filed. For example, an RFO for a modification of child custody requires service of the filed forms within thirty (30) days of filing with the court and a response from opposing party within sixteen (16) days of being served with the RFO; whereas, an emergency ex parte RFO must be served on the opposing party within a few hours of filing and the opposing party may have no time (before the hearing) in which to respond.

Personal Service: Most RFO forms and other documents must be personally served on opposing party by a person not related to the case and who is at least eighteen (18) years old. Personal service is not usually required for service of discovery requests and/or discovery responses or in ex parte emergency hearing cases.

Note: Failure to follow proper service and/or notice requirements may negatively affect an RFO, including the inability of the court to hear the RFO.

Completing RFO Legal Forms

Legal terms on the family law forms can be confusing and costly mistakes are sometimes made by non-attorneys. For example, in a divorce case, terminating jurisdiction to award spousal support can carry both extreme long term benefits as well as extreme long term detriments, and the legal forms associated with this issue does not describe those benefits and/or detriments. There are hundreds of examples in every type of family law legal matter where common mistakes can lead to lost money, liberty, and most importantly, lost time with family. Always seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney before filing, or responding to, any RFO, especially an RFO related to contempt of court, domestic violence restraining orders (DVRO), child custody, spousal support, child support, and divorce.

Presentation of evidence at the RFO: Evidence presented by either party at the RFO hearing is where most non-lawyers make costly mistakes. For example, unauthorized recordings of persons is commonly proffered in family court in support of a party’s case. However, most unauthorized recordings are inadmissible (and illegal) in court, and worse, sometimes the unauthorized recording serves as the basis for a prosecution against the proponent of the illegal recording (See PC 632.7). Other common mistakes in presentation of evidence include procedural and evidentiary mistakes (i.e. hearsay, foundation, relevancy, witness examination, legal tactics, rules of court violations, etc.). In short, sometimes well-meaning persons believe the “evidence” they possess will support their argument at the RFO only to find their evidence is not admissible (and sometimes illegal) for a variety of reasons.

Note: Mistakes made on legal forms and/or in the presentation of evidence can lead to other legal problems. For example, statements made against interest in a response to an RFO for a domestic violence restraining order can lead to prosecution for domestic violence, child neglect, perjury, and more. Always seek the advice of a family law attorney familiar with criminal defense law and procedure before commencing or responding to any RFO that alleges domestic violence, contempt, child neglect, child abuse, or destruction of community property.

Remember: Just because a party is not familiar with the law, or the rules of evidence production and/or court procedure, does not mean the family law judge will be lenient on those rules and procedures. Retain an experienced family law attorney at the earliest possibility to avoid costly mistakes before filing or responding to any RFO.

Going to court for an RFO: Most RFOs require a court hearing to obtain the requested order. After filing an RFO the first court hearing will be scheduled anywhere from the day after the filing (emergency ex parte basis) or up to several months depending on the RFO. The Clerk of the Court will stamp the filing party’s paperwork with the exact court date, location, and time. Dress is business or business casual…no exceptions.

Temporary orders vs. permanent orders: Most RFOs will be granted or denied at the first court hearing based on a short argument where limited evidence is presented to the judge. Those orders are considered temporary orders unless all parties agree to the court’s orders. If either party is not satisfied with the court’s order(s) at the initial RFO hearing he or she may request a trial on the same RFO issues and the orders made at the first hearing will be considered temporary orders. Temporary orders only last until further orders are made at trial on the same RFO issue at a later date. A trial on the RFO issues usually takes place several months after the temporary orders were issued by the family law judge. The trial is a longer hearing where more evidence is usually offered by both sides. Modification of the permanent orders may be possible in some circumstances. See Modification of Orders.

Mediation: Except in emergency ex parte cases, RFOs related to child custody or child visitation require the parties to first attend family court mediation in an attempt to resolve their child custody and/or visitation issues before making their respective arguments to the judge at an RFO. In emergency ex parte cases, the judge may make orders with very little notice of the RFO to the opposing party and without the parties having attended mediation; however, if emergency ex parte orders are made in child custody and/or child visitation cases those orders are always considered temporary until the parties have had a chance to attend family court services mediation and conduct a subsequent hearing on the issues related to the RFO. For more information, see Family Court Mediation.

To learn more about request for orders (RFO) contact our divorce and family law attorneys today for a free consultation. Call today!


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Updated July 17, 2021

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