What do these papers mean?

If you received a Request for Orders (form FL-300), it means the other party in your family law case is asking the court to make a decision. The court set a date to hear from both sides (a "hearing") before it makes a decision.

Highlight of the form FL-300 showing where to find the date and time of your hearing Page 1

Hearing date and time

The date, time, and place is on the first page. 

Need More Time or Can't Attend the Hearing
Highlight of the form FL-300 showing where to find what the other party is asking the court to decide Page 1

What the other party is asking the court to decide

The topic of the request is checked on the first page. What the person wants the Court to decide and why are on Pages 24 and any attachments.

If "Change" is checked it means that there's already an order about this issue and the other party wants that changed. 

If “Temporary emergency orders” is checked it means the other party asked the court to decide something urgent before the hearing. If the Court agreed, item 7 at the bottom of  Page 1 will be checked and the orders will be attached.  These orders are temporary.  They only last until the hearing.  You must follow these orders.

Highlight of the form FL-300 showing where to find orders you must follow until the hearing. Page 1

Orders made before the hearing

Sometimes the Court makes orders about what one or both sides must do before the hearing. For example, if the hearing is about child custody and visitation, the Court may order you to attend mediation.  You must follow any orders listed. 

What you can do

No matter what you decide to do, right now you need to

  • follow any orders in or attached to the Request for Order
  • go to mediation, if ordered in item 6 on the first page. 

You have options to respond. If you do not respond, the Court will decide without your input.  

There's generally no cost to respond. If this is the first time you are filing papers in the case, there may be a fee. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver

Unless there is a restraining order, contact the other side to see if you can agree. If you do, you can submit a signed written agreement to the Court and request to cancel the hearing. 

  • Complete, file, and serve Responsive Declaration to Request for Orders (Form Fl-320) to let the Court know that you agree and why.

  • This must be filed and served at least 9 court days before the hearing unless item 5 on Page 1 says otherwise.  

  • Attend the hearing. If you attend the hearing without first filing and serving a Responsive Declaration, the Court may not listen to your input. 

  • Complete, file, and serve Responsive Declaration to Request for Orders (Form Fl-320) to let the Court know what you disagree with and why.
  • This must be filed and served at least 9 court days before the hearing unless item 5 on Page 1 says otherwise.  
  • Attend the hearing. If you attend the hearing without first filing and serving a Responsive Declaration, the Court may not listen to your input. 

At the hearing, the Court will only make decisions about the issues listed in the Request for Order. If you want the Court to also decide about something else, you must file your own Request for Order (FL-300).