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Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Orders

Temporary Orders

Temporary Orders are court orders that cover only the period of a divorce, legal separation, or paternity action. The idea is that these orders are designed to establish clear orders for the parties to comply with while their family law matter progresses through the court.

How Do You Request for Temporary Orders?

From the beginning of a family law case, court orders are not automatically made nor are court hearings automatically set to address all the potential issues in the case. If a party wants court orders, that party must affirmatively file for a request for a temporary order.

What to File for when Requesting a Temporary Order

When filing for any request with the court, a party must file what is known as a Request for Order (FL-300) or RFO. On the form, all the appropriate boxes must be check marked if a particular is being requested. Along with the form must be attached a declaration that includes facts to support the request. A good idea would to be also to attach any pertinent proposed evidence that may supplement the request. However, providing a clear and concise declaration with relevant supporting documents while staying within the parameters of the court rules and limitations may not be so simple. While filing a request may seem simple on your own, organization of the declaration and supporting evidence in an “easy-to-read” manner for the court may take skill and experience that may be necessary to maximize a party’s chances of successfully achieving their request. Speak with one of our attorneys at Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP to discuss your case and determine the best approach to maximize your chances.

After filing the RFO, the court will return the documents and set a future hearing date. Thereafter, the party that is seeking the request (moving party) must personally serve the opposing party with the court paperwork at least 16 court days prior to the court hearing date per California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 1005(b). However, if the documents are served by mail on the opposing party, they must be served on the opposing party with an additional 5 days.

Response to the Request for Temporary Orders

The responding party (not necessarily the Respondent) must prepare and file a response to the moving party’s RFO. This response must include a form known as the Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (FL-320), a declaration with any and all supporting facts to object to the moving party’s request, and any supporting evidence. This responsive packet must be filed with the court at least 9 court days prior to the hearing and served that same day. As discussed above, an additional 5 days must be added if serving documents by mail.

Whether acting as the moving party or responding party, the importance of having forms completed accurately and organized in an “easy-to-read” way for a judge cannot be overstated. Having an experienced and skilled attorney to assist you is always a good idea. Please call our office today for a free consultation

A Request for Temporary Orders Hearing

If the parties are unable to settle with each other on the issues, the court hearing will proceed as planned so that a judge can review the documents, hear verbal arguments from both sides, and issue temporary court orders. Typically, these RFO hearings are set for a short amount of time (approximately 20 minutes). While any part of the process can be done alone, it can be intimidating especially when a party has to appear in front of a judge to advocate for themselves. In many cases, parties don’t know what to say or may even forget to mention an important fact that may be crucial to a favorable decision by the judge. This is why it is always a good idea to have an attorney who understands your case, your goals, and can advocate for you both in and outside of court to ensure that all is being done to ensure a favorable decision. With our extensive years of experience both in and outside of court, our attorneys can help you what would otherwise be a difficult and intimidating process easier and stress-free.

Retroactivity and How Long Do Temporary Court Orders Last?

Any time a moving party files for a request, the resulting court order is usually effective from the date of filing. This is especially crucial for those individuals are have an immediate need for support, spousal or child. Filing as soon as possible to preserve that retroactivity is definitely a good idea. As to how long do temporary court orders last for, they are effective until either a new RFO addresses the same pre-determined issue or the parties are nearing the end of their divorce to which the parties can agree to new court orders or go to trial on any issues that have yet to be determined. The temporary court orders are designed to cover issues during the pendency of the divorce.

Permanent Orders

While the term “permanent orders” may suggest that those orders are going to be effective forever and will remain unaltered for the rest of the parties’ lives, this is not the case. If a party believes that there are sufficient facts to support what is known as a change of circumstances, then that party can request for a modification of a previous order.

Ex Parte Requests

Emergency requests, otherwise known as Ex Parte requests, are requests involving an extreme set of circumstances. Common examples of emergency requests include but are not limited to the freezing of assets due to a misappropriation of assets by the other party or supervised visitation due to a serious risk of danger to a child if unsupervised visitation to the noncustodial parent were to continue to occur.

In order for the moving party to seek ex parte relief, they must show that they (or their children) will be “irreparably harmed” if the relief is not granted.


California requires that before the court can hear an Ex Parte request, the party seeking the request must “notice” the other party (or attorney) of the Ex Parte hearing no later than 10:00 a.m. on the court day before the hearing. For example, if a party intends to have an Ex Parte hearing the next day, the other party should have been “noticed” by at least 10:00 a.m. that day, assuming the present day was a court day. The notice must contain the location and time of the Ex Parte hearing and what relief is being requested.

Unlike other courts, Riverside County allows parties and attorneys to submit their Ex Parte requests ahead of time to the court to determine if the set of facts warrants an Ex Parte hearing. The court will review the paperwork and either outright deny the Ex Parte request without needing the appearances of parties nor their attorneys in court or require the parties and their attorneys to appear immediately in court to argue their case. The court initially determines whether the set of circumstances is worth the court’s time. This uniqueness with the Riverside County saves many parties substantial legal fees and costs as courts in other jurisdictions require attorneys to be present in court to argue the request regardless of the set of circumstances without any kind of advanced notice of likelihood of outcome.

For more information about hearings, contact our office today.

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