What is it? Order to Show Cause (OSC)
The most common method for obtaining orders in a divorce, both before and after Judgment, is by way of an Order to Show Cause. An Order to Show Cause allows the filing party to request specific orders from the court. An Order to Show Cause is typically used at the beginning of the dissolution action to obtain child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support and attorney fees. When same is filed together with a petition for dissolution the court then may make orders with regards to the requested actions as to those issues or any others that may be requested. It is also used to obtain restraining orders to insure community assets are not misused or otherwise taken as well as any and all other necessary orders sought.
The court can not make orders unless the court is specifically requested to do so by way of an Order to Show Cause. Further, the court cannot issue orders other than those requested in the Order to Show Cause so one must be very specific and detailed.
Thus, when the Order to Show Cause is filed at the beginning of the case the court will issue temporary orders pending a final resolution of the matter, that is until a Judgment is entered on the case. This will insure there is support being paid and that orders are made clear with regards to the custody and visitation of the minor children.
Additionally, requests can be made for more orders in the same Order to Show Cause.
Thus, one Order to Show Cause can resolve many issues at the beginning of a case.
The Order to Show Cause can also be used after a Judgment has been entered where you seek to modify child custody, child support, child visitation, and/or spousal support.
When the Order to Show Cause is used after the Judgment has been entered it will allow a modification of the existing orders. Thus, when a situation changes such as one party begins to earn more or less than the other a modification can be sought as to the support issues.
Where there are ongoing issues with regards to custody and visitation that are unresolved the court retains jurisdiction to modify the Judgment with regards to both custody and visitation as well.
Further, the Order to Show Cause can be used to enforce the courts previous orders contained in a Judgment or a prior Order to Show Cause when they are not being followed by the other party. This can include failure to pay support, failure to pay agreed upon distributions of funds or failure to cooperate regarding the children.
The Order to Show Cause is a multi faceted procedure which will allow you to seek relief from the court both at the beginning at your case, during your case or even after same is concluded as is needed. It is the most used procedure to obtain an order from the court. Remember, without the filing of an Order to Show Cause the court cannot make orders.
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