California Divorce Ex-Parte Must Be True Emergencies

The way Divorce Ex-Parte hearings are being decided are changing. I am seeing a trend where Judges are making sure that the divorce Ex-Parte hearings are true emergencies.

I have sent several clients down to court on Divorce Ex-Parte hearings lately and I have noticed a trend. The judges are being more critical of the Ex-Parte hearings and if they are not true emergencies, they are denying the Ex Parte hearing.


What is troubling about this is that the bar for being a true emergency is getting higher and higher. Before, financial difficulties were considered emergencies. The last client i sent in Ex Parte was told by an attorney that they had a good Ex-Parte divorce issue in that they were about to be evicted because the spouse moved out of the rental home and stopped paying the rent while the wife was at home with the 2 kids and coming up on Christmas is facing eviction. Despicable!

In any case, we sent her down on emergency Ex Parte motion to get her rent caught up and the judge denied it flat out.  Even the attorney that referred this client to us was shocked that they did not consider the matter since she was about to be evicted.

I make a joke that unless there is “blood on the floor” which my mom would say while telling a story and she realized nobody was listening, the ex parte hearings are not being heard.

Additionally, before the judge would deny the ex parte hearing, but then set the matter on the regular calendar, now they are denying the ex parte hearing and telling the party who filed to file their case on the normal calendar.

The issue here is that if the judge continued the ex parte hearing and set a new date, the court fees the person paid would be considered paid. By the court denying the ex parte hearing and not continuing the hearing or setting is on the calendar forces the party filing the ex parte to pay the filing fees twice.

This is not fair.

Let me explain… So you have an emergency you feel warrants an ex parte motion. You file the motion Ex parte and it is denied. You paid your fees for that hearing, but because the judge felt it did not warrant an emergency, you have to re-file completely and pay the fees again which can be as much as $115 each time.

Sometimes, just not fair…

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