5. Go to your court date

When you go to your court date, the judge will have all the documents you and your partner filed.

Family court illustrations
Family court illustrations

See what a family courtroom looks like

The judge may have questions for you to help them make a decision. So you need to be prepared to speak in the courtroom. You should stand up when speaking to a judge. Remove your hat and don’t chew gum when you’re in court. And, turn off your cellphone.

There are usually no witnesses on a . You can only refer to the evidence in your affidavit or other documents you filed with the court. So it’s very important to include all the evidence you have in your affidavit.

At the end of the motion, the judge can make a that lasts for a few weeks or months while you and your partner continue to try to resolve your issues. The judge may make a decision right away. Or, they may “reserve” their decision and make it at later time.

If the judge reserves their decision, it means they need more time to review the evidence and think about the orders you’re asking for. You may need to come back to court for the decision or you may be told about the decision in writing.

Your case continues through the family court process after a motion. You must follow any temporary orders until:

  • The judge makes a different decision.
  • You and your partner agree on how to resolve your issues.


The judge may order . This means the who gets the orders they’re asking for may get part of their legal fees paid for by the other party.

The judge may ask you for reasons why your partner should pay for some of your costs, or why you should not have to pay for some of your partner’s costs.

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