Family Law

Family Law News 2017, Issue 4, Volume 39, No. 4

The Use of Motions in Family Law

Dorie A. Rogers, CFLS

Dorie A. Rogers is a Family Law Specialist, certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. She practices in Orange County, and has a family law litigation, transactional, mediation and appellate practice. Ms. Rogers is currently the ACFLS Associate Legislative Director, the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee Legislation Chair, and a Past Director of the Orange County Chapter of ACFLS. She serves as pro tem for Orange County Superior Court and has served as minor’s counsel approved by Orange County Superior Court. She has also written and taught Family Law related MCLE programs. She can be reached at

Motions are underutilized in family law. Attorneys often miss opportunities to educate the judicial officer, narrow issues, or eliminate the opposing party’s evidence. Also, trial attorneys must do all they can to preserve the record and afford the judicial officer the chance to correct mistakes and legal errors, which may save the client the cost of an appeal. In formulating motions, ample opportunities exist to be creative and to think outside the box. Careful attention must be paid to timelines, which vary by motion. In addition, certain legal issues may only be raised by certain types of motions. This article will provide an overview of various types of motions that are available in family law cases.

Pre-trial motions

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