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Centreville, DE
Centreville, DE

5721 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE 19807

Hockessin, DE
Hockessin, DE

724 Yorklyn Rd #100
Hockessin, DE 19707

Kennett Square, PA
Kennett Square, PA

211 East State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

West Chester, PA
West Chester, PA

17 West Miner Street
West Chester, PA 19382

8:00am - 5:30pm
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MacElree Harvey Offices
Home > What is an Ex Parte Order?

What is an Ex Parte Order?

An ex parte order is an emergency order issued upon the application of one party before the other party is afforded a chance to respond. Because these orders are only issued in emergencies without the Court hearing from both parties, the movant must demonstrate the likelihood of immediate and irreparable harm in the absence of such an order. In Family Court, these orders are most often issued to protect victims of domestic violence and at risk children, but are not limited to those types of cases.

If a motion for an ex parte order is denied, the case continues to proceed in the normal course of business. If an ex parte order is issued, a hearing will be scheduled in short order to afford the non-moving party a chance to respond. This can either be an interim hearing, most often in custody cases, or a final hearing, most often in domestic violence cases where someone is seeking a Protection from Abuse Order.

A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you determine whether your situation will likely be considered appropriate for an ex parte order. Should you need to file for an ex parte order, a knowledgeable family law attorney can help present your application in a way that highlights the exigency of your situation and the need for an immediate order. If an ex parte order has been granted to the other party, you should seek the advice of an attorney right away. You will have the right to contest the ex parte order, and applicants often present an incomplete version of events in their ex parte filings.


Patrick J. Boyer concentrates his practice on family law. He advocates in various areas including, but not limited to, divorce, property division, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, and domestic violence. In addition, Patrick assists his clients with issues involving guardianship and third-party visitation. He is licensed in Delaware and Pennsylvania and works out of the firm’s Centreville, Delaware office.