A Temporary Relief Hearing is a hearing where you can request relief, or help from a Judge. Not every divorce or child custody case in Minnesota needs a temporary relief hearing, but many do. Let’s talk about what they are, and what happens at one.
What Is A Temporary Relief Hearing
Often times in a divorce if the two parties cannot agree on what I like to call “the rules” of the divorce such as who pays which bills, when each parent has the kids, who lives in the house etc., etc., then your lawyer may suggest filing a “Motion For Temporary Relief” This is a legal document that is filed in court and is usually very specific in what you will ask for.
In Minnesota temporary relief hearings cannot be heard for at least 14 days after the motion is filed, but as a practical matter with the current backlog in Minnesota family courts it will take a month or even two before you will get into court. This means that for that a few months you will have to work with your soon to be ex to resolve the day to day issues.
What Happens At A Temporary Relief Hearing?
The actual hearing is pretty simple, you as a client sit there and listen while the lawyers argue. There is rarely (and I mean RARELY) ever live testimony at a temporary relief hearing and everything is instead submitted through affidavits, which are sworn statements you and your lawyer draft. There will be no Perry Mason moment at your temporary relief hearing.
One thing you need to be aware of is that just because the hearing is done does not mean you will have an order from the judge. In Minnesota, Judges have 90 days to issue an order after the hearing. While not all judges take that long, many do, which means it can be several months until you actually get the “rules of the game” established.
What Does A Temporary Relief Hearing Cost?
Well these hearings cost money. There is a $100 motion filing fee you will pay and then there is the hours of work that go into it by you and your lawyer. The time it takes can run from a few hours to well over 20 for very complex cases. You can see that if possible, you should try your best to work it out with your soon to be ex so that you avoid the cost, emotional energy and time associated with a motion for temporary relief.
Best advice is try to avoid one if possible, try and talk to your soon to be ex and hammer out the details. If you can avoid a Temporary Relief Hearing it is usually a good thing.