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The other parent filed a Request for Orders (RFO) asking for child custody and visitation orders. Can I make a request from the court if it is not a specific relief requested by the filing party?

No. By way of example, if Dad files an RFO requesting an alternate weekend visitation only, Mom cannot file a response to the RFO and request that the children get braces or request that Dad pay child support. The responding party may only respond to the issues set forth in the initial RFO. If visitation is an issue, the responding party can only address the issue of the proposed schedule. If the responding party is requesting child support or any relief besides visitation, they must file their own RFO. However, if something is directly related to an issue such as visitation, the court will consider the request even if no such relief is requested in the initial RFO. For example, the responding party can request that exchanges occur at a particular location. Finally, it merits a discussion if you are faced with a parent filing an RFO for visitation without addressing the support issue. If this happens to you, it is imperative to send written communication to the other parent requesting that they address this issue with you either at or before the hearing. If they refuse, you can attach the written exchange to your RFO and Court can consider this in making an attorney fee award.

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