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Divorce Dictionary

Rule to Show Cause for Incidental Matters

Getting a Court Date

After a spouse files an Answer to a petition for divorce, a hearing should be scheduled with the Court. To ask the Court to schedule a hearing, a Rule to Show Cause should be filed.

A Rule to Show Cause states the issues that the judge will need to decide at the hearing and requests that a hearing date be scheduled. The hearing will be scheduled on a date and time that is available on the judge's docket. After the hearing date is scheduled by the Court, the Rule to Show Cause must be served on the opposing party to notify them of the hearing date.

What is a rule to show cause?

A rule to show cause is a kind of motion. A motion asks the Court to do something. The Court acts by entering an order. Before the Court will enter most types of orders, the Court will first have a hearing where both sides are allowed to present evidence and make arguments on their own behalf. Traditionally, the language used by lawyers asks the Court to order the other person to come and "show cause" why the Court should not enter the order requested by them.

What should be included in the Rule to Show Cause?

The information included in a rule to show cause depends on what you are asking the Court to do. A rule to show cause always asks the Court for a hearing.

Issues That Can Be Set by A Rule to Show Cause

Child Custody

A motion asking the Court to make an order related to child custody would include facts relevant to child custody. If there is no existing child custody order, the motion might provide facts to show why a child custody order is needed. For example, the parents disagree about when the child should be with each one of them. This motion could also be called a "Motion to Establish Child Custody".

If there is a current child custody order, the motion would need to include facts to show a change in circumstances since the day the Court entered the existing custody order. For example, a parent's family situation, living situation, or job situation has changed in a way that makes a difference to the child's environment. This motion could also be called a "Motion to Modify Child Custody".

Rule to Show Cause for Relocation

When a person proposes relocation of a child, and they are unable to get express written consent from a person with equal custody under a court order or an objection is filed by another person entitled to object, the issue of relocation can be brought before the Court by a Rule to Show Cause.

Child Support

Any motion asking the Court to make an order relating to child support would include information about the parents' incomes and the number of children they have together. Learn more about the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines.

If either parent's job situation has changed since the most recent child support order, it is important to state that in the motion. For example, if one parent has gotten a raise and the other parent has been laid off, the Court needs to know that information and the details. If you do not know the exact date of the change in income, include an estimate or guess of the week or month that the new job situation became effective.

Spousal Support

The information included in a motion asking the Court to make an order relating to spousal support depends on whether the motion relates to interim spousal support or final spousal support.

Interim Spousal Support

Learn about the factors used by the Court to decide a request for interim spousal support.

Final Spousal Support

Learn about how the Court decides whether to award final spousal support and, if so, how much.

Use and Occupancy of Family Home and Community Property

Dividing or Using Property (

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