In a Minnesota divorce proceeding, if the case is not resolved early on by the Early Neutral Program or mediation, the next step might be a motion for temporary relief.  A “motion” is when one asks the court to do something.  In divorce cases, the usual motion seeks to have the court award temporary child custody, temporary child support, temporary spousal maintenance, etc.  A motion is a formal written request that is served and filed at least fourteen days prior to the date of the motion hearing.  The party opposing the motion needs to respond ten days before the hearing (if that party is seeking new relief) or five days before the hearing (if that party is not seeking new relief).

In many counties, it is difficult to obtain a prompt court date.  In Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka and Wright County, for example, it can take two months or more to get on the court’s motion calendar.  And, many judges do not like to conduct hearings on temporary relief motions, and many might just say “take the case to trial.”

Sometimes temporary relief hearings are necessary, sometimes they are not.  I advocate aggressive pre-divorce planning and in many cases this can put the party in a position where they do not need to bring a motion for temporary relief.