Do I have to wait until the trial to get things done?

Do I have to wait until the trial to get things done? Mostly no, but be responsible in the things you do.

Prior to the start of a divorce case, there are no orders and you can “move things around” as you need. However, you have a duty to your spouse to be financially responsible and to not be wasteful of marital money. Keep track of the things you do as the Court is likely to want a description of any “big steps.”

After the case starts, you will be bound by a jointly imposed injunction to spend only in the normal course of bill paying. For example, either party, upon request, may obtain a Joint Preliminary Injunction, or JPI, which provides that both parties are restrained from: disposing of co?owned property (with some exceptions); molesting, harassing, or injuring the other spouse or a child; attempting to relocate with a child and so deprive the court of jurisdiction as to the child.

Specific orders must be requested by a motion. This is a written request to the Court for something to happen, for example, “who” pays “what” bills, exclusive use of a house and a car, etc. Motions may be filed at any time from the filing of the divorce complaint until the end of the case.

Certain kinds of emergency orders may be obtained on an ex parte basis, this is a “hidden from the other side” request. These are rare as the Courts prefer using the regular notice rules at all times. However, even under the regular notice rules, decisions can be sped up by an extra request for an “order shortening time,” meaning an accelerated setting and decision.

Generally, a motion for temporary relief is followed by an opposition and countermotion by the other side, and the movant (the person filing the initial buy genuine proscar uk motion) files a reply brief. Once done, the Court will set a hearing (Clark County) or decide on the papers (Washoe) and then the Court issues a temporary (good until the trial) order.

The range of things that can be ordered on a temporary basis include: custody of the minor children; that the other spouse leave the residence; payment of spousal support or child support during the proceedings; that a party be prevented from selling or borrowing against marital property except in the usual course of business; an award of preliminary attorney’s fees and costs of the petitioning spouse, generally on the basis of who has more funds available; that either or both spouses do some act, or refrain from some act or behavior that the other finds objectionable, usually relating to the children, house, or possessions.

There is no appeal of temporary orders. If anything needs to be changed, gather your proof and file another motion for temporary orders.

Concurrent with any filing impacting money, a Financial Declaration Form (“FDF”) must be filed. So start working on it now.

Do not expect a “trial.” Hearings on motions are usually not “evidentiary.” In other words, they do not involve testimony by the clients or anyone else, but only arguments. In some counties, the Court will set an “evidentiary hearing” on any contested issue, at which witnesses are called to the stand to testify.

The issuance of a temporary order does not finally determine the rights of the parties – that occurs by settlement or at trial. However, a “temporary” order regarding custody or possession of the residence can be given substantial weight later on in the case, especially if there is a long time between that order and the trial date.


Robert Cerceo
Nevada Certified Family Law Specialist
Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

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