Whether couples negotiate the terms of their own divorce or even when every term is dictated by a judge, a great deal of planning and forethought goes into every decision — particularly the terms pertaining to the children. Still, life after the final divorce decree does not remain stagnant, and the terms often need to change over time. Known as post-decree motions, these requests require judicial intervention and they can take time.
Our Minneapolis child custody lawyers have worked with many clients who need changes on an emergency basis. The Minnesota courts have special provisions that speed up the legal process to appropriately protect the children.
How Emergency Relief Works
Most commonly, parties of divorce who want to change any aspect of the final divorce decree need to file a motion, notify the ex-spouse and go to court. However, there are times when this process is not appropriate, like when one parent wants to immediately prohibit future visitation by the other spouse out of concern for the safety of the children.
Even in these cases, emergency relief (ex parte motions), must be filed with the courts. However, Rule 303.04 — Ex Parte and Emergency Relief provides a means to address the situations quickly with certain requirements, including the following:
- The requesting party must notify the other party, be able to prove that notification was not possible or cite valid reasons why notification would be inadvisable.
- No prior applications can exist unless the requesting party can present new facts.
- A specific form is required to file an ex parte motion.
These requirements may seem simple on the surface, but judges do not take these motions lightly. It is essential for requesting parties to provide compelling evidence for their requests. Additionally, when the other party is notified, the burden of proof falls most heavily on him or her. However, the requesting party may still need to present effective arguments against that defense.
Ex Parte Motions: Get Legal Support
Under most circumstances, self-representation for any issue of divorce is not recommended simply because most individuals do not have the legal knowledge necessary to protect their rights, particularly during an emotional time. When it comes to emergency relief, the Minnesota Judicial Branch further discourages self-representation by not publishing the forms required to initiate this action.
When the safety of the children is at stake, our Minneapolis post-decree motion attorneys provide essential and responsive support. We encourage our clients to call us immediately when the terms of divorce need to be altered for any reason — and certainly on an emergency basis. We also have the skills and experience to assist anyone facing the need for emergency action, even if we have never worked with them before. Call us at (763) 783-5146 or use our convenient contact form for an accurate assessment of your unique issues.