An order to show cause is a type of court order that requires one or more parties in a court proceeding to come to court to justify, explain, or prove something to the court. Typically it means the Judge in a case needs more information before he or she decides to do something. For example, in a divorce, at the request of one parent a judge might issue an order directing the other parent to appear in court on a particular date and time to show cause why the first parent should not be given sole physical custody of the children.
Other examples of an order to show cause in a family law context would be when one parent has not been paying court ordered temporary child support while a case is pending. One party may petition the court to find the other party in contempt. The court may issue an order to show cause to find out if the allegation is true and ascertain why the party is not paying support. Perhaps the party is was in the hospital and was not able to work. The judge can then make an informed decision regarding the order and issue an appropriate sanction or no sanction at all.
If you are on the receiving end of a notice for an order to show cause, it is not something to set aside or ignore. You may wish to contact a family law attorney to assist you in protecting your rights. If you have such an order in hand, or have any questions regarding any other legal issue, give Law Office of David M. Goldman a call at 904-685-1200.