1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Divorce Court: What Is A Motion?


Question: Divorce Court: What Is A Motion?

A motion is a legal action your divorce attorney uses in order to get your particular issue into a courtroom and in front of a judge. For instance, once you file your original petition for divorce your attorney may file a motion with the court requesting an order for temporary child support.

There are two types of motions, the pretrial (before you go to divorce court) motion and the post-trial (after you go to divorce court motion.) Motions are filed based on the need to gain a court order or to enforce a court order you already have.

Common Reasons For a PreTrial Motion:

  • The need to establish temporary financial support such as child support or spousal support in the interim before the divorce court trial.

  • Housing is another issue that can be determined by a pretrial motion. Your attorney could file a motion requesting you have exclusive right to occupy the marital home during the period before a divorce court trail.

  • Child custody can be determined by requesting the court for a temporary child custody order.

  • If there are issues with domestic abuse your attorney can request a restraining order.

  • A judge can give a temporary order that determines what happens to marital property during the period before you go to divorce court. For instance, which spouse will use which automobile or, what property can be removed from the marital home by either spouse.

Common Reasons For a Post-Trial Motion:

  • A request to the court for a downward modification in child support or spousal support. If you lose your job and are not financially able to pay the ordered amount of support, a post-trial modification of that support is a way of protecting yourself financially.

  • If a parent is not paying support, a post-trial motion can be used to hold that parent accountable or, in contempt of court.

  • If your ex is defying the original divorce court order in anyway, a post-trial motion gets you in front of a judge and gives you the opportunity to request a new order.

Basically a motion is a legal resource your divorce attorney can use to protect your interests either before or after your divorce is final.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.