One of the first steps usually taken when a divorce is initiated is to file a Request for Order (formerly known as an Order to Show Cause).
Because it can take six months or more to get a divorce, the parties will need temporary orders to either maintain the status quo or to temporarily settle issues related to custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support.
The Request for Order can be filed at the same time as the Petition or Response, and a hearing is usually set from 4 to 8 weeks out (depending on how busy the courts are). At the hearing, the court will issue temporary orders that will remain in place until the parties reach some future agreement, or until trial.
If an emergency arises, a Request for Order can be filed and heard on an “ex parte” basis. Ex parte simply means that there is such an emergency that the parties cannot wait 4 to 8 weeks for a hearing and need to have the hearing usually within 24 hours of the filing.
Not all situations justify going to court for an emergency hearing. For additional information that pertains to your situation, please click here.