What to expect at a Request for Order hearing


If this is the first time you've been in a courtroom, review some basic tips about how to plan for your day in court.


You may need to wait before your hearing

Keep in mind that other people may have a hearing the same day as you. Your case may not be called right away. You may end up waiting a few minutes or even more than an hour before it’s your turn.

The judge calls your case 

Walk to the front of the courtroom

When it is your turn, the judge will call your names and say your case number. You go up to the front. Someone, usually the bailiff or a clerk, will show you which side to take and tell you to sit down. The bailiff is usually the person in charge of keeping order in the courtroom.

Tell the judge your name 

The judge will ask you and the other side to say your names. Then, you may be asked to swear to tell the truth.

The judge asks questions 

Usually, the judge asks the person who filed the Request for Order to talk first. No matter who talks first, you’ll both get a turn.

It's okay to ask for a minute to read over your notes if you find yourself getting nervous or forgetting something.

Answer the questions the judge asks

The judge might ask you: 

  • If there is anything you have to add to what you already wrote in your papers

  • Why the other person's solution doesn't work

The judge may also have a question about something you wrote. 

Show any evidence you brought

Tell the judge what documents you have. If you didn’t already, give the other side a copy of the document.  

The judge makes a decision 

Usually, the judge will make a decision that day. If the judge feels they need more information, the judge may ask you to come back another day.  

Someone prepares an order for the judge to sign 

Once the judge makes a decision, the judge will need to sign a court order.

  • In some courts, court staff will do this.
  • In other courts, one of you (or a lawyer, if either of you have one) will have to prepare the order. 

If you have to prepare the order, use Findings and Order After Hearing (form FL-340). It will need to say exactly what the judge decided.

Child support or spousal support can be paid directly out of a person’s paycheck. To do this, the judge must sign another order (called a wage assignment) and the employer must be served with this order. 

The Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center may be able to help you with these forms.

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