In most Family Court cases, there are at least two hearings: a temporary hearing and a final hearing. The temporary hearing is sometimes referred to as a motion hearing, because the Court addresses the issues specified in a Motion for Temporary Relief. At the temporary hearing, the Court determines how the issues in each specific case will be addressed between that date and the final hearing.
Each attorney briefly states his client’s position, and each side presents Affidavits (written statements from the parties and witnesses) to support his client’s position. There is usually no “live” testimony given by the parties at the temporary hearing. The Judge will then make a decision after reading the pleadings and affidavits.
However, some Judges do not read the Affidavits, while others do not give the attorneys much opportunity to argue their client’s position at this hearing. Some Judges make decisions at the hearing, and others take the matter under advisement and let the parties know their decision at a later date. The specific procedure in temporary hearings tends to vary slightly from Judge to Judge, case to case, and even from day to day.