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What is an OSC?

Order to Show Cause, or OSC, is a legal term for a court order that requires one or both parties to a divorce (or other legal action) to prove or explain or justify something to the court.

OSC Hearings

There is also a type of court hearing called an “OSC hearing.” In a divorce, this hearing is usually held when one spouse or the other is asking for:

  • a temporary order, or
  • an order before a divorce trial, or
  • a modification of existing orders

The date for an OSC hearing will be set relatively quickly, compared to a trial date. In a complicated or highly contested divorce, a family law judge will not set a date for the divorce trial until both parties have completed all necessary disclosures. OSC hearings may be held first to set out all of the discovery (assets, for instance).

More Than One Type of OSC

There is more than one type of OSC. For example, an OSC requesting an order before the trial is called an “initial OSC.” These can have a significant effect on the outcome of the divorce. An OSC that is given after the divorce is final — for example, an OSC regarding a modification of an existing order about custody or child support — is called a “postjudgment OSC,” or sometimes just a “motion.”

Answers to More Questions:
If you do not already have a divorce lawyer, or if your ex-spouse is requesting a modification of your divorce terms and you need a lawyer, contact us today.

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