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Order to Show Cause

Parties seeking Assistance from a Judge to Settle an Issue

An Order to Show Cause (“OSC”) is a very broad motion that can cover any number of issues in a Family Law Case. However, in order to get a hearing and an order by the judge, there must be an existing court case. Generally, this method is used to explain a change of circumstances to the court and to ask for something different than what was requested during your initial filing paperwork. Also, if you are seeking temporary determinations from the Court as to custody and support until your dissolution is finalized, an OSC can accomplish that, as well. Finally, an OSC can be filed even after there has been a judgment and determination on an issue, so long as your circumstances have changed from what they were when the judgment or determination was made.

Ex Parte Emergency Orders

Ex Parte (or absent the other party) Orders can be requested within 24 hours of giving the opposing party notice that you intend to go to Court. In your application and during your hearing, you must show the judge that an irreparable harm will result if a Court Order or prior agreement is not immediately altered. It can also apply to a situation that has not yet been litigated, so long as the result of the failure to grant your order will result in irreparable harm. In custody situations, the harm is generally to the children; but if it can be remedied with money, the Court will generally not consider that irreparable harm.

For example, if you have a death in the family of a member who lives outside of the state and your agreement does not permit taking your children outside of the state, you can file for an emergency hearing to get permission to alter that agreement to attend the funeral. These orders are generally very limited and only granted in true emergency situations. So, if it is something that can wait for a determination with full participation from the other party, then a normal OSC is all that needs to be filed.

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