Understanding Ex Parte Orders
If you are going through a divorce, you may need immediate assistance on some legal issues that cannot wait until you finalize the divorce. The law is aware of such circumstances and allows divorcing spouses to file for urgent assistance. One way in which you can get such immediate help is to file an ex parte order.
Meaning of Ex Parte Order
An ex parte order is a temporary order that the court can enforce without your spouse's awareness. You still need to serve your spouse with the orders, but the enforcement of the order can take immediate effect even before they get to your spouse.
Consider an example where you are going through a divorce, and you are afraid that your partner might sneak the kids out of the country. You can get an ex parte order preventing your spouse from fleeing the country with the kids.
If the judge agrees to your application, then the orders can take immediate effect even before your spouse sees them. This means, for example, that the authorities can stop your partner at border points even if your spouse is not aware of the order's existence.
Features of Ex Parte Orders
Ex parte orders are available for a variety of situations, but the orders all have these features in common.
They Require an Emergency
You cannot get an ex parte order for an issue that can wait for a full hearing. You only get an ex parte order for an issue that cannot wait and you must address immediately.
For example, the division of property is not an emergency, so you can't get an ex parte order for that. However, threats of domestic violence constitute an emergency, so you can get an ex parte order to prevent your partner from coming near you.
They Are Temporary
Ex parte orders are not permanent. The orders come with an expiry date. In most cases, the orders expire when you get your divorce judgment. The expiry makes sense then since your divorce judgment will cover most of the things that you would want to handle with ex parte orders. You can go back to court if you need further help from the government.
Your Spouse Can Challenge Them
Lastly, even though ex parte orders can take effect immediately, your spouse can still challenge the orders. It is just that the orders will still be in effect during the challenge.
For example, you can get an ex parte order preventing your spouse from withdrawing money from your joint account. Your spouse can challenge the order, but they won't be able to withdraw w the money before the court rules on the issue.
For more information on ex parte orders, reach out to a family law attorney in your area.