Ex parte” is a Latin term meaning from one party. In family court proceedings, an ex-parte order refers to a court order granted on the motion of one party without waiting for a response from the opposing party. Ex-parte orders are typically granted after the court holds an emergency hearing. 

How To File for an Ex Parte Order in San Diego Family Court

You must already have a family law case pending or open a new case to request an ex-parte order. Ex parte orders can be requested in all types of cases but are primarily used in cases involving divorces, domestic violence, paternity, child custody, and property division disputes. 

The person asking for an ex-parte order files a motion with the court. The court sets an emergency hearing before a judge. If the judge rules there is justification for an ex parte order, the judge grants the order.

The reason for an ex parte hearing must be an emergency. An emergency means there is immediate danger of:

  • Irreparable harm to you or your child
  • The damage or loss of property 

Ex parte orders are temporary emergency orders. The court sets a hearing date for a full hearing on the matter. The other party receives notice of the hearing and has the opportunity to appear to argue why the temporary relief should not be extended. 

Requesting emergency relief in a family law case through an ex parte order can be challenging. The requesting party must meet all the legal requirements for an emergency order. Furthermore, they must follow all local court rules for requesting an emergency hearing.

If you need emergency relief in a divorce, custody, or other family law case, it is best to meet with a San Diego family law attorney to discuss your situation. A lawyer explains your legal rights and the best option for obtaining emergency orders from the family court.

Reasons Why You Might Need an Ex Parte Order in a Child Custody Case

Judges may grant temporary custody to a parent on an emergency basis. The custody order is temporary until the court can hold a full hearing to decide child custody. An ex parte order for child custody might be granted in situations such as:

  • A spouse alleges their partner is guilty of domestic violence
  • There is credible evidence a parent intends to move the child to another county or state
  • A parent refuses to allow the child’s other parent to see or visit the child
  • There are allegations of child abuse or neglect
  • A parent is unfit to care for a child because of the parent’s drug abuse, mental health, or other similar conditions

It can be challenging to obtain emergency child custody because you are doing so without the other parent having an opportunity to respond to your allegations. However, an experienced San Diego child custody lawyer understands what circumstances justify an ex parte order. An attorney also knows how to present evidence to the court to convince the judge that an ex parte custody order is in the child’s best interests.

Other Reasons for Filing an Ex Parte Order in a California Family Court 

While child custody is a common reason for requesting an ex parte order, the court might issue an ex parte order for other reasons. Other situations that could result in an ex parte order for temporary relief include:

Domestic Violence or Abuse

Protective orders are often granted ex parte after an emergency hearing. However, judges might use ex-parte orders to modify or end current protective orders.

The Threat of Financial Harm

A judge might grant an ex parte order to stop a spouse from destroying or disposing of marital assets. The order might also prohibit the spouse from incurring large amounts of marital debt. Judges are more likely to issue an ex parte order if there is evidence a spouse could become destitute without immediate action from the court.

Failing To Abide by Court Orders 

Some judges might issue an ex parte order if a party fails to abide by a current court order. However, the court would need evidence that failing to act on an emergency basis would cause irreparable harm to a person or property. Otherwise, the court would set a regular hearing date to hear the dispute. 

What Happens After the Court Issues an Ex Parte Order?

The court sets a hearing date for the judge to hear from both parties. The opposing party can appear at the hearing and argue that the temporary relief should be rescinded or modified. Likewise, the opposing party might not appear to argue against the temporary relief.

The formal hearing is set to allow both parties to present evidence to support their claim. It allows the judge to hear more evidence regarding the matter from both parties. 

It is always wise to seek legal advice regarding ex parte orders. If you receive notice that your partner is filing for emergency relief, you should contact a San Diego family law attorney immediately for help.

Contact Our Child Custody Law Firm in San Diego, CA

Contact our experienced San Diego child custody lawyers at San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC today for legal assistance. Contact our San Diego office at (619) 866-3756 to schedule a free consultation.

San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC
2851 Camino del Rio S #430
San Diego, CA 92108