Opposing a Motion Filed Against You
Learn how to prepare and file a written “opposition” to a motion that the other party filed against you. Keep in mind that if you don’t file an opposition, the other party might win automatically!
If you received a “motion” from the other party, it means that the other party wants to go back to court to try and have some orders changed. Read through the motion to figure out if you agree or disagree with what the other party is asking for. If you agree to the changes, you may be able to avoid a court hearing and Submit a Stipulation and Order. You may also be able to work out custody and visitation changes through mediation rather than going to court. Visit the Family Mediation Center page for more information about mediation and how to request a referral to mediation.
If the two of you cannot reach an agreement, you can file an “opposition” to the other party’s motion. An “opposition” is a written statement that says why the judge should not give the other party what they asked for, and what you would like instead. Both parties will have to go to the court hearing so the judge can ask some questions and decide what orders to change, if any.
If you are an active military service member, you may be able to ask the court to “stay” the proceedings if your military service prevents you from being able to participate in the case. See the Information For Active Military Members to learn more about this.
Is there a deadline to file an opposition?
Yes. Oppositions normally must be filed with the court within 10 business days after the other side served the motion on you. If you received the motion in the mail, you get an additional 3 calendar days from the date it was mailed.
Do I have to file an opposition? Can’t I just argue my case in court?
If you do not file an opposition, the judge might grant the other party’s motion automatically, and might even cancel the court hearing. This means the other party may get everything that was asked for in the motion and you will not have a chance to tell the judge your side of the story. If you disagree with any part of the motion, be sure to file an opposition.
What does a person have to prove for a judge to change the order?
Judges do not change court orders lightly. There are legal standards that judges must follow before changing orders, and the legal standard is different depending on what issues are being raised. It is up to the person asking for the change to prove the legal standard before the judge can change the court order.
For a description of common issues raised in motions to modify orders, and the legal standards to change them, please visit File a Motion to Go Back to Court.
Follow these steps 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
You will need to complete an Opposition, a Motion/Opposition Fee Information Sheet, and a Financial Disclosure Form (if there are financial issues for the judge to decide).
The Financial Disclosure Form
This form is required if you or your ex-spouse are asking to change any financial orders, such as child support or spousal support. You must attach your three most recent paystubs to this form.
The Motion / Opposition Fee Information Sheet
This form is always required. 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 typically a $25 filing fee to file your opposition. If you originally got a divorce by filing a Joint Petition for Divorce, the Court will charge an additional $57 the first time you file an opposition as part of a reopened case. This additional fee goes into effect July 1, 2015.
The Family Law Self-Help Center has the following oppositions available:
Opposition to Motion to Modify Custody, Visitation, and Child Support: This opposition may be used by parents who want to respond to the other parent’s request to change the custody or visitation schedule and/or child support.
Opposition to Motion for Permission to Relocate: This opposition may be used by parents who want to respond to a parent's request to relocate with the children.
Opposition to Motion to Modify Child Support and/or Spousal Support: This opposition may be used by anyone who wants to respond to a person’s request to change the child support and/or alimony order.
Generic Opposition: If you were served with a motion about something other than the topics above, you can file an opposition using the “Generic Opposition” form below. You must include a summary of the legal basis for your opposition, explain the reason you are opposing the motion, and state what you would like the judge to order.
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 Opposition, the Motion/Opposition Fee Information Sheet, and the Financial Disclosure Form 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.
Be sure to read and follow the instructions here to make sure the other party 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 ex-spouse, or, if your ex-spouse is represented by an attorney, you must serve the attorney. This is to make sure the other party knows what you are filing 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).
After you serve the documents, 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.