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Getting Temporary Emergency Orders in San Diego Divorce and Family Law Cases

By October 28, 2011May 25th, 2016No Comments3 min read

If you have a divorce or other family law case pending in a San Diego court, there’s a difference between getting a temporary order and an emergency order.  Temporary orders are common, and these are usually orders that a court makes after a hearing with all parties.  But sometimes one side may ask the court to make an order immediately—without notifying the other side and without a hearing.  This is called an “ex parte” order, and they’re not granted in the typical divorce or child custody case. 

How Long do Emergency Orders Last?

Ex parte orders are made quickly and without notifying the other party because there’s an emergency that would permanently harm a party if the immediate order isn’t made.  If a judge issues the ex parte order, then the other side has to get a chance in court to challenge it.  The order will usually last only up to three weeks until the hearing is held to decide whether the order will continue.

When do you Need an Ex Parte Order?

Even in a contentious divorce, not everything is an emergency.  You don’t want to hurt your case down the road by seeking an unnecessary emergency order just to try and get the upper hand.  So which situations justify an ex parte order?  Many times, ex parte child custody orders are requested because a parent threatens to move out of state with the child, or because there is child neglect or domestic violence.

Besides child custody, ex parte orders can deal with many other issues.  For instance, a party may need to request an immediate order prohibiting a house or other assets from being sold or transferred, to freeze a bank account, or to direct the other party to take some other immediate action.

What are Your Other Options?

If your situation is not urgent enough to justify an ex parte order, there are other temporary orders that you can request before the divorce becomes final.  Keep in mind that although temporary, at a later time, the order could affect your permanent order, which is why we make sure to carefully handle your request (or to oppose the other side’s request at the hearing).  Or, instead, we can work to negotiate an agreement on child custody and other issues and present it to the court for approval.  This is called a “stipulated agreement,” and again, it’s very important to consider the possible future effects and be careful with the language in the agreement and the terms.  Contact Minella Law Group’s experienced divorce and family law attorneys as early as possible to discuss the best strategy for your case.  Reach us at (619) 289-7948.

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