Motion Vs. Petition

By Wayne Thomas

The divorce process can involve significant paperwork. Most jurisdictions require the parties to first make all important requests to the court in writing. This provides the judge with an opportunity to review both sides of the issues before holding a hearing or ruling on the matter. These requests are known as either petitions or motions, depending on their purpose and when in the case they are filed.

The divorce process can involve significant paperwork. Most jurisdictions require the parties to first make all important requests to the court in writing. This provides the judge with an opportunity to review both sides of the issues before holding a hearing or ruling on the matter. These requests are known as either petitions or motions, depending on their purpose and when in the case they are filed.

Requests in Divorce Proceedings

A petition, also referred to as a complaint in some states, is the document that one party files to initiate a divorce. This document contains basic information about you and your spouse, the reason for the divorce and certain disclosures regarding property and children. By contrast, a motion is a written request to a judge by either party regarding a specific issue after the divorce case has been filed. Unlike the petition, which is filed only once, you can file several types of motions throughout the divorce proceeding that cover a wide range of topics. For example, you can file a motion that asks the court for a temporary order for spousal support or a motion to reschedule the date of a hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Types of Divorce Motions in Florida

References

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Can the Defendant in a Divorce Reschedule the Trial Date in Michigan?

In Michigan, divorce trials often involve the participation of more than just the spouses. At times, the court must juggle the competing schedules of parties, attorneys and witnesses in order to ensure attendance. However, while judges will generally reschedule a trial for good cause, the court is also mindful of delay tactics. In that light, a judge will consider the reason for the request, as well as the timing and number of requests, in determining whether to alter the trial date.

Cross-Motions In Divorce

Cross-motions and motions are as inseparable as macaroni and cheese -- a cross-motion in a legal proceeding is a response to a motion. Motions are a request for a court order and can be made before, during and after a trial. Either party can file a motion asking a family law judge for an order relating to issues involving custody, visitation, child support, spousal support or restraining orders to keep the parties apart during the divorce process. The opposing party has the right not only respond to the motion, but also to ask for its own court orders in its cross-motion.

What Happens After You Sign & Notarize Your Divorce Documents?

Each state has unique laws regarding divorce and family law matters, so the actual process of preparing and filing divorce documents is determined by state civil procedure laws and local court rules. The term "divorce documents" may include the petition or complaint for divorce, motions for support and custody, stipulated property divisions, and final settlements and decrees. In general, divorce documents are commonly referred to as “pleadings” or “court filings."

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