If you are filing for relief or assistance from the Court prior to the time of trial or after a judgment, you are filing a “Request For Order” a.k.a. ” RFO” in which you are requesting the Court to make orders regarding a specific issue.
Routine requests for orders include issues on child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, attorney’s fees or “other.” The “other ” can be a request for minors’ counsel, Child Custody Investigator, Child Custody Evaluator (730), or other relief that is not included in one of the predesignated categories. Generally speaking the Court does NOT make orders regarding division of property at a pretrial hearing.
If custody and visitation is at issue, then the parties will have to go to child custody mediation prior to the hearing date. If you are seeking to modify a judgment in your request for order, you will need to show a “substantial change in circumstances.” In other words you will need to show there has been a significant change in the lives or circumstances of the parties since the time the judgment was first granted by the Court.
Beware Informal Agreements:
If you and the other parent reach an informal agreement regarding child support, as a general matter do not expect for the court to enforce it unless you make that agreement part of a formal filed stipulation. Consequently, if you have no prior orders there is no way to enforce the agreement or if you do have prior orders then those prior orders will probably be enforceable regardless of your informal agreement.