Motions (and Oppositions!) for Temporary Custody / Paternity Orders

It may take a while until your custody 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 decision (such as DNA testing or temporary custody or child support issues), 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.

What are Motions and Oppositions?
Common Issues Decided in Motions for Temporary Orders
How to File or Respond to a Motion for Temporary Orders


What is a "Motion" and an "Opposition?"

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.


Common Issues Decided in Motions for Temporary Orders

A motion for temporary orders can include just about any issue that you and the other parent need the judge to decide while you are going through a custody case. The most common issues raised in motions for temporary orders include:

  • Paternity:  The judge can order a DNA test if paternity is in question.
  • Temporary Child Custody and Visitation: The judge can put a temporary custody and visitation schedule in place so you and the other parent 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.

Any orders issued by the judge are temporary and are meant to provide some guidance while the case is going forward. The final orders are not decided until you and the other parent settle the case, or the judge decides the issues at trial.


Filing or Responding to a Motion


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:

  1. Select and Complete the Paperwork
  2. File the Paperwork
  3. Serve the Other Party (the most important and often forgotten step!)
  4. Go to the Hearing
  5. Prepare an Order After the Hearing

Step 1: Select and Complete the Paperwork

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 the other parent are asking for any financial orders, such as child support. You do not need to complete the "Personal Asset and Debt Chart" on this form, but complete all of the other sections.  You must attach your three most recent paystubs to this form.

Financial Disclosure Form (pdf)  Financial Disclosure Form - General (pdf fillable)


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. If you have already paid your initial appearance fee, there is usually no fee to file a motion or opposition for temporary orders because it is a “motion filed before final Custody Decree,” and therefore excluded from the usual filing fees.  

Motion / Opposition Fee Information Sheet (pdf)


The Motion / Opposition

The Family Law Self-Help Center has the following motions (and oppositions) for temporary orders available for use in custody cases.


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.

Establish Paternity Only: This motion may be used by parents who are not sure about paternity and would like to have a DNA test done or otherwise need to establish paternity.  This motion does not include any custody issues; use the motion for temporary custody below to ask for paternity AND custody orders. 

Motion to Establish Paternity and/or for DNA Testing (pdf)

Motion to Establish Paternity and/or for DNA Testing (pdf fillable)

Temporary Custody, Visitation, and/or Child Support: This motion and opposition may be used by parents who want temporary orders regarding custody, visitation, and/or child support.  A parent may also request a DNA test if needed. 

Motion for Temporary Custody, Visitation, and/or Child Support (pdf) 

Motion for Temporary Custody, Visitation, and/or Child Support (pdf fillable) 

Opposition to Motion for Temporary Custody, Visitation, and/or Child Support (pdf)

Opposition to Motion for Temporary Custody, Visitation, and/or Child Support (pdf fillable)

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.

Step 2: File the Paperwork

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.


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.


Step 3: Serve the Other Party

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 the other parent 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 the other parent, or, if the other parent 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.

Certificate of Service (pdf)  Certificate of Service (pdf fillable)

You can find answers to common questions about service on the Frequently Asked Questions: Service page.


Step 4: Go to the Hearing

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.


Step 5: Prepare an Order After 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.

Order After Hearing and Instructions - With Children (word fillable) (for custody/child support)

Order After Hearing and Instructions - With Children (pdf) (for custody/child support)

Paternity Order Packet (pdf fillable) (for paternity issues only)


Do not use the forms above if the judge granted a final custody order at your hearing. In that case, see Getting the Final Custody Decree for the correct forms and instructions.