If all the paperwork needed for the court hearing was correctly completed and the judge made a decision, the judge will sign the court order stating what decision was made. However, the case is not completed until the judge’s order is filed with the court clerk.
Preparing the “Order After Hearing”
At the hearing, the judge will tell one of the former spouses or partners (or one of their attorneys) to prepare a document called an “order” that reflects what the judge decided.
If the person asked to prepare the “order” is not represented by an attorney, he or she can get assistance in doing the paperwork from the Family Law Facilitator’s Office.
the name of judge who presided and the names of the former spouses or partners and any attorneys who attended.
what orders the judge made at that day.
Then there are different pages to be filled in and attached to this form for the different orders that the judge issued. For instance:
If the judge only made spousal or partner support orders, then a completed Spousal, Partner or Family Support Order Attachment is to be attached.
Spousal, Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment
If there were any other orders made, the forms that apply (such as child custody or child support) are to be attached.
NOTE: On the forms, whatever the judge ordered in courtroom is to be accurately stated.
2. When the forms are completed: Copies of them are to be sent to the other spouse or partner (or his or her attorney) for approval. The other spouse or partner has 5 (five) days to review and approve or reject them.
When the proposed order is sent to the other spouse or partner, a letter letting them know about this time limit is to be sent with the forms.
3. If the other spouse or partner approves the forms as completed: He or she is to sign the Findings and Order After Hearing (FL-340) and return it to the person who prepared the documents.
4.Next, the person who prepared the documents is to take the signed forms to the inbox for the courtroom where his or her case was heard.
5.As soon as possible, the clerk will review the proposed order and submit it to the judge for signing.
6.Once it is signed, the person who submitted it will need to retrieve it and make several copies of the order so that he or she will have copies to distribute.
7.Then the person is to take the original and all of the copies back to the court clerk to be filed. (The clerk will keep the original, stamp the copies and return them to the person who submitted them.)
8.Finally, the former spouse or partner who prepared the documents is to serve a copy of the file-stamped copy of the order on the other spouse or partner.
If the other spouse or partner does NOT RESPOND within the time limit provided, the order may be submitted to the court -- with a copy of the letter sent to the other spouse or partner informing him or her of the time limit – with a request that the court finalize the order without the other person's approval.
If the other spouse or partner does NOT APPROVE of the order as prepared by the first spouse or partner, then it may well be time for him or her to consult with an attorney who has experience in this field.
REMEMBER: The Office of the Family Law Facilitator can help you with any part of this process if you don’t have an attorney to represent you.
For information about the Family Law Facilitator’s Office in the county where you live, click here.