Ex Parte Hearings and Emergency Orders in CA Family Court

Ex Parte Hearings and Emergency Orders in CA Family Court

Ex Parte Hearings are sometimes called “Emergency Hearings” because a court mostly hears them in emergency situations. California Family Court judges may issue legal orders as a result of these hearings to protect a child, prevent personal injuries, and for other time-sensitive matters.

California Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger and her team can represent you and handle the intricate paperwork required for ex parte hearings. Learn more about these proceedings and when “emergency orders” may be warranted.

What Is an Ex Parte Hearing?

Ex Parte is Latin for “from one party.” This describes the request from a single party to communicate and present evidence to the court with little or no notice to other involved parties. Under California law, such hearings are allowed when significant harm is imminent and immediate measures are required to prevent it. This threat of harm may supersede the normal right of the other party to be present and hear the charges or allegations against them.

These hearings are not for simple or even heated arguments or disputes. A pattern of bickering or disagreements is not enough to request an ex parte hearing. There must be an imminent threat of harm where emergency action is required.

In such an emergency, the court may elect to hear the presentation and issue legally binding orders ex parte. This may be in the presence of both or only in the presence of a single party. If both parties are not present, these court orders are completely lawful and enforceable, just as if the opposing litigant were present.

When Would I Request an Ex Parte Hearing?

​An ex parte hearing in CA family court may be requested by anyone who believes there is an imminent reason for a court order and can provide sufficient proof for needing an emergency order. Common reasons to request an ex parte hearing include the following:

  • To Protect a Child: Ex parte emergency orders are typically granted when there are allegations of child abuse, neglect, a threat of abduction, or other similar reasons when a child would need legal protection from serious harm.
  • To Prevent Physical Harm: Ex parte orders can be granted to protect an adult from possible domestic violence or other causes of imminent and serious harm. Preventing a personal injury from a previously violent person is a justifiable cause for an ex parte emergency order of protection.
  • To Prevent Financial Harm: Ex parte orders can also be requested if significant financial harm is imminent, threatened, or otherwise could cause serious loss to the victims. An example would be when one party claims a spouse is willfully destroying joint-owned property or marital assets, leaving the first party without a means of support.

​The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can help you obtain ex parte orders in family court when imminent danger or other pressing needs arise. Contact the office nearest you for more information and to schedule a consultation.

How Do I Request an Ex Parte Hearing in CA?

​Several legal forms are required for requesting an ex parte hearing in California family court. You must also provide evidence for your request that the court will hear before granting any requests. Following is some of the information required:

  • Formal request for a hearing
  • Identity and contact information for involved parties and/or their attorneys
  • Reasons for an ex parte hearing
  • Any previous requests or orders on this or related matters
  • Any existing child custody, support, and visitation orders
  • Any notice made to the other party of this action or reasons why the opposing party should not be notified

Applicants must provide a full and detailed description of recent incidents showing the threat of or actual harm to a child, other person, or property. The evidence must demonstrate the harm that could be suffered without the requested emergency orders in effect.

A family court may grant ex parte orders on the evidence of filed paperwork alone, or they may request some oral testimony or other evidence.

Get Help from a California Certified Family Law Specialist

Judy L. Burger is a CA Certified Family Law Specialist with extensive experience in ex parte hearings and related matters. She can explain more in a confidential consultation and take swift action to request such hearings when warranted. Contact the closest location of The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger when threatening domestic circumstances arise and you need advice and assistance.

Is 50/50 the Best Custody Option for my Kids?

Is 50/50 the Best Custody Option for my Kids?

When parents divorce, one of the most important decisions they will make is how they will share physical custody of their kids. In some cases, parents may want to divide their time equally or “50/50.” This may seem like an equitable and logical choice. However, if you are considering this type of arrangement, you will want to know: Is 50/50 the best custody option for my kids? Continue reading

How Abandonment Can Work In Your Favor In California

Abandonment in Divorce Proceedings
In divorce proceedings, abandonment refers to when one spouse leaves the other without the intention of returning.  Prior to the enactment of “no-fault” divorce laws, spouses could allege abandonment as a ground for seeking a divorce.  Although proving fault is no longer required to get a divorce in California, abandonment may be factored in by a judge when awarding child custody, alimony, and deciding how marital property will be divided. If your spouse abandoned you or the children, you should be prepared to present evidence of the fact of the abandonment and the effects it had on you and the children.  You may have suffered financially and emotionally.  Depending on their ages, the children’s anguish may have manifested in changes in behavior and performance at home or school.  Any evidence of the negative impact of abandonment should be discussed with your attorney and prepared for presentation at trial, if necessary. When you allege abandonment, your spouse may raise a defense of consent or justification.  A deserting spouse can mitigate or eliminate any finding of fault on his part if he can show you consented to the abandonment.  One example of this would be if you asked your spouse to leave and never return. Likewise, a spouse may be able to show that the abandonment was justified due to abuse or another reason, such as the supposed abandonment was actually due to the spouse moving to take a new job while the other spouse refused to move.  Under these circumstances, it is unlikely the court would attach any fault to the abandonment. The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can assist you in proving or defending an abandonment situation in your divorce proceedings in California.  Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas.  If you are a spouse facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help you.  Call (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.

Additional Factors To Consider When Making a Parenting Plan

We recently discussed California’s requirement for parents to develop a parenting plan, also known as a “custody and visitation agreement” or a “time-share plan,” which is essentially a written agreement between parents detailing how much time the children will spend with each parent and a plan for making important decisions in the future about the child’s welfare and education. Many of the factors in a parenting plan will be obvious, others less so.  In this article we will draw your attention to some of the less than obvious factors to consider when developing your ideal parenting plan.  Some of these items may be extremely important to your family:
  1. Whether there will be regular visitation with grandparents or other extended family members, and if so, how often;
  2. Sleeping arrangements for children and parents, including the children’s or parents’ overnight guests;
  3. Instructions for administering medication;
  4. Dietary requirements or restrictions;
  5. Preferred methods of discipline;
  6. Acceptable methods and frequency of parent-child communication while the children are with the other parent;
  7. Parent-to-parent communication guidelines;
  8. Whether the children need both parents’ consent for piercings or body art;
  9. Responsibility for routine vaccinations, dental care, and medical care;
  10. Acceptable use of technology, including internet, social media, and cell phones;
  11. Curfews for each child and anticipated exceptions, if any;
  12. Acceptable ratings and genre for movies the children may watch;
  13. Acceptable ratings and genre for video games the children may use;
  14. Which extra-curricular/school/sporting events the children will participate in;
  15. Participation in church/synagogue/mosque activities.
These factors may be beyond the usual set of essentials suggested for your parenting plan, but depending on your family dynamics, could be troublesome if not decided ahead of time. The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can assist you in fighting for your rights and those of your children in a visitation or custody dispute in California.  Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas.  If you are a parent with a visitation or custody issue, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form