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!
- Why did the other person file a motion? Either party can file a motion to try and have some orders changed. Read through the motion to find out what the other party wants changed, and decide if you agree or disagree with it. If you agree to the changes, talk to the other party about signing a Stipulation and Order to resolve it out of court. You may also be able to work out custody and visitation changes through the Family Mediation Center instead.
- Do I have to respond? Can I just argue my side in court? If you disagree with anything the other party asked for, you must file a written opposition. If you do not, 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.
- Will there be a hearing? Maybe. You should have received a "Clerk's Notice of Hearing" with the papers. It tells you if there is a hearing set with the judge, or if the judge will be deciding the issues "in chambers," meaning, without a hearing. If there is no formal hearing set and you want one, you can ask for it in your opposition.
- What is the deadline to respond? Oppositions normally must be filed with the court within 14 days after the other side served the motion on you. If you received the motion in the mail, you get an additional 3 days from the date it was mailed.
- What laws apply? There are different legal standards to change different kinds of orders. Make sure you understand the Legal Standards to Change an Order before you write your opposition.
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.
Follow these steps to respond to a motion:
1. Fill out the forms. You have to fill out at least 2 forms, maybe more, to file your opposition.
2. File the forms. Turn in your completed forms by mail or efiling.
3. Serve the other party. You are responsible for serving the other party with a copy of your filed forms, usually by mail or e-service.
4. Get ready for the hearing. Make sure you know how to prepare for court.
5. Prepare an order. After the judge makes a decision, someone has to write up the decision into a formal court order.
Learn more about each step below.
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).
Financial Disclosure Form
This form is required if you or the other parent is asking to change any financial orders, such as child support. You must attach your three most recent paystubs to this form.
Motion / Opposition Fee Information Sheet
This form is always required. It tells the Clerk of Court whether you have to pay a filing fee. There is usually a $25 filing fee to file your opposition.
One of these forms is required. Choose the one that best matches the type of motion the other party filed.
Opposition to Motion to Modify Custody, Visitation, and Child Support: This 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 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: This may be used by anyone who wants to respond to a person’s request to change the child support order.
Opposition to Motion for Contempt: This may be used if the other party filed a motion claiming you are violating a court 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 an Exhibit Appendix. 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 these ways:
- Online through eFileNV.
- Mail (Family Court, 601 North Pecos, Las Vegas, NV 89101).
- In person at the Family Courthouse (check our How to File page for hours and more information)
If the other party did not request a hearing but you did, the court will issue a Clerk's Notice of Hearing setting a court date.
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 (plus the Clerk's Notice of Hearing if issued) must be served on the other parent, or, if the other parent 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 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.
If one of the parties requested a hearing, plan to participate in that hearing.
You can appear by phone or video for most hearings. Fill out one of the following forms and file it at least a week ahead of the hearing to request permission to attend your hearing by video or telephone if you prefer. Learn more about video and phone appearances on the court's informational page.
If you want to attend the hearing in person, plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to have enough time to park, get through security, and find your courtroom. Check in with the marshal at the courtroom when you arrive.
It is a good idea to review some tips on how to Represent Yourself in Court before you attend the hearing.
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.