What is an Ex Parte Order? Answers From a Beverly Hills Divorce Attorney
During your divorce, you’ll hear all kinds of legal terms – and one you might need to familiarize yourself with is ex parte. Ex parte is a Latin term that means “for one party,” and it refers to motions, hearings or orders that judges grant at the request of only one party.
What is an Ex Parte Order?During a divorce, ex parte orders are those that benefit only one party. Some examples of these types of orders include those that:
- Prevent one party from harassing or being near the other (such as a restraining order)
- Stop someone from taking a child out of the state or out of the country
- Prevent one party from removing or selling assets
Top 10 Questions About Ex Parte OrdersMany of our clients have questions about ex parte orders – either because they need a judge to issue one or because a judge has already issued one in their case. These are the top ten questions we answer.
How Does an Ex Parte Order Work?Typically, here’s how these orders work:
- One party’s attorney files a motion with the court to ask for something (such as a restraining order or to stop one party from moving a child out of state)
- The court agrees with the reasoning behind the order and issues it
- The other party is held responsible for obeying the order, and if he or she violates it, the court can take action
How Long Does an Ex Parte Order Last?These types of orders are often temporary. Typically, they’re only good for 21 days – they last until the next hearing, which has to be scheduled within 21 days after filing for an ex parte order. At the next hearing, the judge will decide whether the order should become permanent.
What Situations Require an Ex Parte Order?Emergency situations call for an ex parte order. Usually, they’re used in domestic violence and child abuse cases. However, they can also be used when one party is going to move a child outside of the state or when someone is destroying, selling or removing marital property that he or she shouldn’t touch.
How Do These Orders Work for Child Custody Issues?There are several child custody situations in which this type of order may be necessary. Emergency custody orders can be important if there’s been a domestic violence or sexual abuse incident, or when a child is in danger. These are governed by California Family Code, Section 3064. They can be used in other cases, too, though, such as when:
- A child needs medical attention that requires both parents’ consent, but one parent refuses
- A parent has hidden the child or threatened to flee with the child
- A parent acts in a way that could harm a child (such as being charged with drunk driving while the child was in the car)