Responding to Emergent Matters in Court

Responding to Emergent Matters in Court


Attending to Emergent Matters

Typically, motions filed in the family court can take several weeks to be heard. With a backlogged calendar and new motions being filed every day, the courts do their best to address all issues promptly. But what do you do when you have an urgent matter that can’t wait several weeks? There is a slightly different process for asking the court for help with emergent matters, which I’ll briefly review in this post.

Emergent matters are considered “emergencies” for family court purposes. They typically involve a threat of immediate and irreparable harm to the parent or the child in the matter. Instances of domestic violence, parental kidnapping, and child abuse are some examples of emergent matters that should not wait several weeks to be heard. If you have an emergent matter and need help from the court as soon as possible, you can file an Order to Show Cause, which is considered an emergency motion. The court addresses these motions much sooner than regular motions, usually within a few days.

Depending on the urgency of the matter, the judge will usually consider an Order to Show Cause within a day or two. But that doesn’t end your involvement in the matter. The judge will also schedule a full hearing for a more thorough review of the matter. A follow-up hearing might be scheduled within a week of the initial hearing or be several weeks out. At the full hearing, both parties will have a chance to speak before the judge makes any final decisions.

By filing an Order to Show Cause, you can ask the court for reliefs such as temporary sole custody of your child, specific restraints, or a temporary injunction. If you need emergency relief from the court, you should have an attorney help you file an Order to Show Cause. You will need to submit a brief including the specific nature of the immediate and irreparable harm you or your child face. An attorney can help ensure your Order to Show Cause is thorough and properly drafted, so you can get the relief you need as soon as possible.


Do you have an urgent matter you need help with? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you seek emergency relief from the court. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.



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