Motions (and Oppositions) for Temporary Orders
It may take a while until your divorce case is finished and the judge enters all the final orders. If there are some issues that you would like the judge to sort out while you are waiting for the final divorce, you can find information on this page about how to get temporary orders in place, and how to respond to a motion for temporary orders filed against you.
A “motion” is a written request that asks the judge to enter certain orders. It is more detailed than the initial paperwork filed in the case. A motion tells the judge what the person wants the judge to order and why. Either the Plaintiff or the Defendant can file a motion. A court date is set for any motion that is filed.
After a motion is filed and served on the other party, the other party can file a written “opposition” if he or she disagrees with the other party’s requests. The opposition can include a "countermotion" that tells the judge what that party would like the judge to order and why.
Both parties will have to go to the court hearing so the judge can ask both of them some questions and decide what temporary orders to put in place.
A motion for temporary orders can include just about any issue that you and your spouse need the judge to decide while you are going through a divorce. The most common issues raised in motions for temporary orders include:
- Temporary Child Custody and Visitation: The judge can put a temporary custody and visitation schedule in place so you and your spouse know when the children should be with each parent.
- Temporary Child Support: A judge can set temporary child support based on the temporary custody and visitation schedule.
- Temporary Spousal Support (Alimony): If one spouse needs financial help during the divorce, the other spouse might be ordered to pay temporary alimony.
- Temporary Exclusive Possession of the House: A judge can decide which spouse should temporarily live in the house if the parties are unable to live together during the divorce.
Any orders issued by the judge are temporary and are meant to provide some guidance while the divorce is going forward. The final orders are not decided until you and your spouse settle the case, or the judge decides the issues at trial.
Before you file a motion, the court rules require you to try and solve the issue privately with the other party first. If you do not, you will have to explain in your motion why you did not try to resolve this outside of court. If the judge thinks you could have resolved this without filing a motion, you could be sanctioned!
Follow these steps if you would like to file a motion or if you need to respond to a motion that the other party filed:
- Select and Complete the Paperwork
- File the Paperwork
- Serve the Other Party (the most important and often forgotten step!)
- Go to the Hearing
- Prepare an Order After the Hearing
To get a motion (or opposition) filed, you will have to file a motion (or opposition), a motion/opposition fee information sheet, and probably a financial disclosure form. Each of the forms and explanations are below.
The Financial Disclosure Form
This form is required if you or your spouse are asking for any financial orders. Financial orders include: child support, spousal support, exclusive possession of the house, or anything else that has to do with finances. You must attach your three most recent paystubs to this form.
The Motion / Opposition Fee Information Sheet
You must fill out a “Motion/Opposition Fee Information Sheet” every time you file a motion or opposition. This form tells the Clerk of Court whether you have to pay a filing fee. There is usually no fee to file a motion or opposition for temporary orders because it is a “motion filed before final divorce,” and therefore excluded from the usual filing fees.
The Motion / Opposition
The Family Law Self-Help Center has two motions (and oppositions) for temporary orders available for married persons.
FYI!If you are filing to set a court date to have these issues heard, file the “Motion.” If you received a motion from the other party and want to respond, file the “Opposition.” If you filed the original motion, and the other party filed an opposition that you would like to respond to, you can file a Reply to Opposition / Countermotion (pdf fillable) where you can let the judge know any additional facts to support your case.
For Married Parents: This motion and opposition may be used by parents who want temporary orders regarding custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and/or possession of the home.
For Married Spouses (no child-related issues): This motion and opposition may be used by spouses who do not have children together, or who do not need the judge to issue any orders regarding the children. The forms ask the judge to set temporary alimony orders and determine who should temporarily live in the home while the divorce is pending.
Permission to Relocate with a Child: If you need the court's permission to move out of Nevada or to a place inside Nevada that is fairly far away from the other parent, you can file a Motion for Permission to Relocate instead of the above motions. The forms can be found here.
If you want to file exhibits to support your motion or opposition, download and complete the Exhibit Appendix (pdf). Each exhibit must be identified in the table of contents, and every exhibit must be separated by a blank page that says "Exhibit __" with the number of the exhibit inserted.
Just like with your initial documents, you can file the papers in one of three ways:
- In Person at the Family Courthouse.
- By Mail (Family Court, 601 North Pecos, Las Vegas, NV 89101).
- Online through eFileNV.
FYI!When you file a motion, the Clerk will set a hearing date. If there is an emergency and you want the judge to hear your case sooner, you can file additional documents asking the judge to change the court date. Download the Order Shortening Time Packet (pdf fillable) for all of the instructions and forms needed to ask the judge to hear your case quickly.
THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT! If you do not follow this step properly, the judge may cancel your hearing! Be sure to read and follow the instructions here to make sure your spouse is properly served with your papers. It is up to YOU to serve the documents; the court does not serve the documents for you.
All of the documents you filed must be served on your spouse, or, if your spouse is represented by an attorney, the documents must be served on the attorney. This is to make sure the other party knows about the hearing and has a chance to respond to your papers. You must serve the papers within 3 calendar days of filing the documents.
How to Serve the Papers:
- Electronic: If the other party is registered with the court's e-service program, you will be able to electronically serve the documents at the time of filing.
- By Mail: If the other party has not registered with eFileNV, you will have to send the documents through the U.S. Mail (you can send them by regular mail, there is no need to send them by certified mail).
Once you serve the documents, you must fill out a Certificate of Service that states when, where, and how you served the documents. File the Certificate of Service with the court before your hearing.
You can find answers to common questions about service on the Frequently Asked Questions: Service page.
It is a good idea to review some tips on how to Represent Yourself in Court before you go to the hearing.
You may also want to watch some videos that the family court judges prepared to help you understand the court process. You can view helpful videos from the judges by clicking here.
At the hearing, the judge will tell you his or her decision on the issues, but those orders are not enforceable until they are written into an official order form and signed by the judge. The judge will usually pick one party to “prepare the order.” It is that person’s responsibility to prepare the written order from the hearing, submit it to the judge for review, and send a copy to the other party. The instructions and forms needed to do this are below.