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A motion for temporary relief in a divorce is an order from a judge before the final verdict is delivered. Temporary relief can be seen in the forms of temporary custody, parenting time, child support, and spousal support, distribution of money. That court order will remain in place until further order of the court or until the case has concluded.

Fewer divorce litigants face the prospect of a motion for temporary relief as more and more countries adopt the neutral evaluation model. A decade ago, nearly every party to a divorce would seek some sort of temporary relief order from the judge, given the fact that few alternatives were available for immediate structured debate and discussion concerning issues like custody, parenting time, child support, property division and spousal maintenance.

Because traditional litigation and the early neutral evaluation process are inherently inconsistent with one another, litigants must choose whether to seek a motion for temporary relief, or participate in the alternative dispute resolution model. For the vast majority of our clients, we recommend participation in a financial early neutral evaluation or a social early neutral evaluation, or both.

However, there are limited circumstances in which an early neutral evaluation is not appropriate. These cases can include situations involving domestic abuse, or the dissipation of marital assets by one of the parties.

In seeking a motion for temporary relief, we begin by filing a notice of motion and motion. This formal notice sets forth the specific relief that our client is seeking, and indicates the time and place of the relevant hearing.

The Minnesota Rules of Family Court require the parties to submit an affidavit in support of their motion. Motions are typically decided by the court on paper only, without testimony from the parties. As a result, significant time is devoted to the preparation of this sworn written testimony from our client. We also attach all the relevant exhibits that support the claim(s) of our client.

In addition to the affidavit of our client, we often include supplemental affidavits from third parties. They may include statements from friends, family members, or daycare providers who have direct knowledge and information concerning the situation that the parties are involved in.

Finally, the court requires the parties to submit a financial disclosure form. This form discloses all of the relevant assets and liabilities of the marriage, along with the relevant income and budgets of each party. It gives the court a snapshot of the financial position of the litigants.

Once all the relevant documents are drafted and executed, we serve them upon the opposing litigant, or his or her lawyer. This must be done at least 14 days ahead of the hearing date. They, then, have an opportunity to offer a written response of their own.

Typically, motion hearings do not involve any sort of testimony from the parties. Instead, the lawyers will argue the motion based upon the written affidavits that have been submitted.

On rare occasions, the court will issue a decision right from the bench. More often, however, the court will take a week or two to think about the situation, and offer a written opinion by mail.

Have further questions about a motion for temporary relief in family court? We’re happy to speak with you. Call (763) 783-5146 to arrange a consultation.