Understanding RFO in Family Law Explained

what is rfo in family law

Have you heard of RFO in family law and wondered what it means? In this article, we’ll provide you with a clear definition of RFO and explain its significance in family law cases.

Request for Order, or RFO, refers to the formal process in family law where an individual asks a judge to make commands or orders related to various aspects of their case. These aspects can range from child custody and spousal support to the division of community property.

Filing an RFO involves submitting standardized legal forms specific to the request. It’s crucial to complete these forms accurately, as any mistakes can lead to costly consequences. Seeking the advice of an experienced family law attorney is highly recommended to navigate the intricacies of the process and avoid potential pitfalls.

Evidence plays a critical role in an RFO hearing, and understanding the rules of evidence and court procedures is essential. Depending on the circumstances, RFOs can result in temporary or permanent orders. Mediation may be required for child custody or visitation-related RFOs, and specific rules and procedures must be followed.

In this article, we will delve deeper into when an RFO would be used, the process of filing an RFO correctly, and how to effectively prepare for an RFO hearing. By understanding these aspects, you can increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome in your family law matter.

When Would an RFO be Used?

RFOs, or family law motion for orders, are commonly used in various situations within family law cases. They serve as a means to address urgent matters before a final judgment is made, allowing individuals to obtain temporary orders. RFOs are typically necessary in the following scenarios:

  1. Modifying child custody and visitation orders
  2. Making changes to child support or spousal support
  3. Addressing property division issues
  4. Requesting attorney fees and costs
  5. Seeking restraining orders for domestic violence or harassment protection (family law domestic violence restraining order)
  6. Obtaining exclusive use of certain assets

By filing an RFO, individuals can bring important matters to the attention of the court and seek temporary orders to maintain stability during the family law case. Whether it’s modifying custody arrangements, resolving financial issues, or accessing protection from domestic violence, RFOs are a valuable tool in family law proceedings.

Importance of RFOs in Family Law Cases

RFOs play a crucial role in family law cases by allowing individuals to address pressing matters promptly. These orders can provide temporary relief while the case progresses, ensuring that the best interests of all parties involved are considered. Whether it’s protecting individuals from domestic violence through a family law domestic violence restraining order or resolving financial issues, RFOs offer a practical and efficient solution.

However, it’s essential to understand the specific requirements and procedures involved when filing an RFO. Seeking guidance from a family law attorney who specializes in family law motion for orders is highly recommended to navigate the legal complexities effectively.

Filing an RFO

Properly preparing and filing an RFO involves several steps and requirements. To initiate the process, you need to fill out family law RFO forms accurately. These standardized legal forms are specific to your RFO request and must be completed carefully to ensure the court understands your needs. Additionally, you may need to include non-standardized documents depending on the specifics of your case.

Once the RFO forms are completed, they must be timely filed with the court. It’s essential to follow the filing requirements and submit the forms within the designated timeframe. Keep in mind that filing fees may apply, so it’s crucial to be aware of any associated costs.

Serving the spouse or opposing party is a critical part of the RFO process. The forms must be served on the opposing party within the court’s designated deadlines. Proper service ensures fairness and allows the opposing party to respond to your request. It’s important to carefully follow the court’s instructions regarding service methods and deadlines.

Typically, personal service by an unrelated adult is required for RFO forms. However, there may be exceptions depending on the circumstances. For example, alternative service methods may be allowed if the opposing party’s address is unknown. It’s important to review the court instructions and consult the court clerk for any clarifications or specific guidelines.

RFO Filing Checklist:

  • Complete family law RFO forms accurately
  • Include any necessary non-standardized documents
  • Timely file the forms with the court
  • Ensure proper service of the forms on the opposing party
  • Follow the court’s instructions, deadlines, and guidelines

To avoid dismissal or delays, it’s crucial to be aware of the deadlines and ensure all filing requirements are met. Seeking legal counsel and guidance from a family law attorney during the filing process can greatly assist you in navigating the complexities and ensuring a successful outcome for your RFO.

Step Description
1 Complete family law RFO forms accurately
2 Include any necessary non-standardized documents
3 Timely file the forms with the court
4 Serve the forms on the opposing party within designated deadlines
5 Follow court instructions, guidelines, and deadlines

RFO Filing Checklist


Preparing for an RFO Hearing

Adequate preparation is crucial when getting ready for an RFO hearing. To increase your chances of a favorable outcome, it’s essential to gather evidence, write clear and compelling declarations, practice your testimony, and organize all relevant documents.

Gathering Evidence

Gathering evidence to support your RFO request is vital. This evidence can include financial records, such as bank statements and tax returns, emails or text messages, photos, receipts, and any other documentation that is relevant to your case. Make sure to collect all the evidence that strengthens your position and supports your arguments.

Writing Declarations

When preparing declarations, it’s essential to clearly state the facts surrounding your RFO request and provide justifications for the relief you are seeking. Write your declarations in a concise, factual manner, and include any relevant details or events that support your case. Be sure to complete your declarations truthfully and accurately, as misleading or false information can have serious consequences for your case.

Practicing Testimony

Practice presenting your testimony before the RFO hearing. This will help you become more comfortable and confident when speaking in court. Consider rehearsing your statements with a trusted friend or family member who can provide feedback and guidance. Remember to stay calm, be clear and concise, and focus on delivering your key points effectively.

Organizing Documents

Organize all the documents relevant to your RFO request and have multiple copies available. This includes the evidence you have gathered, completed declarations, and any other supporting documents. By keeping your documents organized, you can present your case more effectively and have quick access to any information you may need during the hearing.

Consulting an experienced family law attorney is highly recommended when preparing for an RFO hearing. They can provide valuable insights and guidance on how to best present your case. An attorney can review your evidence, declarations, and documents, and help you determine if additional witnesses or subpoenas are necessary. Their expertise and knowledge of family law can significantly increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome.

Remember, proper preparation is key when it comes to an RFO hearing. By gathering evidence, writing clear declarations, practicing your testimony, organizing your documents, and consulting with an attorney, you can position yourself for the best possible outcome.


In family law cases, navigating the complex legal landscape can be challenging. That’s why consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is crucial. Their expertise and guidance can help individuals understand the intricacies of the legal process and prepare for a successful outcome.

Request for orders (RFOs) are a vital tool in family law cases, allowing individuals to obtain temporary orders for urgent matters. However, proper preparation is essential. By understanding the requirements, gathering evidence, and following the correct procedures, individuals can increase the likelihood of achieving their desired outcome.

A skilled family law attorney will provide valuable guidance throughout the process. They will help individuals navigate the complexities of family law, assist in gathering evidence, and ensure that all necessary steps are taken. With their expertise, individuals can effectively present their case during an RFO hearing and work towards a successful resolution.

In family law cases, having a successful outcome is crucial. By partnering with a family law attorney, individuals can confidently navigate the legal system and increase their chances of achieving a favorable result. Don’t face family law challenges alone – seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected and your voice is heard.