What You Need to Know About an RFO in California Family Law

Any individual who is looking to begin a case in family law should be familiar with Request for Order (RFO) forms. Here is everything you need to know about an RFO in California family law.

A request for order form is a formal request made to obtain a legal order through the court. For example, if an individual wishes to establish custody rights in family court, they would first need to submit a request in order to begin the legal process. An RFO can grant orders quickly and they are enforceable for either the duration of the case or until the case is brought to trial.

What Does a Request For Order Do?

Every legal process begins with a request for order submitted to a court clerk. A request for order can also be a formal request for a hearing from a judge. In family law cases, requests for order are commonly used to tackle the many issues that can arise in these types of cases. Here are some examples of what kinds of issues requests for order forms can handle in family law cases.

In family law cases where the parents are unmarried, a request for order can handle many problems, such as:

  • Requests for paternity tests
  • Requests for drug tests
  • Child Support

In divorce cases, a request for order can handle many different issues that arise, such as:

  • A determination of the validity of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody evaluation (also available in non-divorce custody cases)

In family law cases where a child custody agreement cannot be settled between the parents, the court can decide child custody for them with a request for order.

What Happens After Filing A Request For Order

A request for order process is generally the same across all family law cases. Here is an idea of what steps will be taken after filing a request for an order form.

1. File the Request for Order form.

To begin the legal process, a request for order will be filed to the court clerk to set a hearing.

2. Complete all standardized forms required before the request is granted.

After a request for order is submitted in family court, the next step in the legal process would be to complete the required forms. For example, if an individual is filing a request for an order to modify a child support agreement, there will be standard legal forms necessary for them to complete before the case can begin. These forms are required before the requests can be granted as an individual filing an RFO for child support must be able to demonstrate why they needed to file the request.

3. Complete any non-standardized forms required after the request is granted.

Additionally, there are non-standardized forms, such as requests for the opposing party’s annual income, that may be necessary. These non-standardized forms will only occur after the case begins, and can be required after the request for order is granted.

4. Schedule a date for the hearing.

Then, the court clerk will schedule a date for the hearing and prepare a copy of the request for order to be served to the opposing party.

5. Serve the Request for Order forms.

Serving the request for order form on time is required by the requesting party. The amount of time the requesting party has to file and/or service their request for order form depends on the type of request for order form they filed. For example, a request for order for a modification of a child custody case requires service within 30 days of filing to the court and a response from the responding party within 16 days of being served.

An individual can learn more about how to serve a request for order here.

6. Attend the hearing.

Both parties must attend the scheduled hearing for the request for order, and a judge will make a decision in court for how the order should be settled.

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If you or a loved one are seeking an RFO in California family law, contact us. Get your free consultation with one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys today!