What is a Motion for Temporary Orders in a Washington dissolution case?
When a dissolution case (or any family-law related case, actually--separation, paternity, parentage, etc..) is initiated, either party may file a Motion for Temporary Orders in Order to get in front of the Court within a week or two (check the Court rules of your county to determine the timing in your particular county) in order to obtain TEMPORARY relief from the Court.
What kind of temporary relief is available to a litigant?
Depending on the circumstances, one's motion can contain a request for temporary spousal maintenance, temporary attorney's fees, temporary parenting plan, temporary child support, temporary mutual or unilateral personal and/or financial restraints, the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, the use of specific property, payment of debt allocation, and much more. Be sure to consult with an experienced attorney to determine what your particular motion should continue. It truly does depend on the circumstances.
Will I be going in front of a Judge on a Motion for Temporary Orders?
It really depends on the county. In larger counties such as King and Snohomish counties, these motions are heard by a Court Commissioner, which is akin to a "magistrate" (i.e., one level below a Judge). In smaller counties where there may not be any Commissioners, the matter is heard by a Judge. Be sure to check the local court rules in your county to determine what applies in your particular case.
What if I disagree with the results of the Motion for Temporary Orders?
You have the option of filing a motion for reconsideration or a motion for revision if you disagree with the results of the Motion for Temporary Orders. However, this needs to be done relatively quickly after the Order is entered with the Court--usually by the 10th day after, though I recommend doing it sooner just in case something comes up at the last minute. Be sure to confer with an experienced attorney to determine whether a Motion for Revision or a Motion for Reconsideration is right in your particular case and circumstances.
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