General information

A hearing is a stage in the trial process where specific issues are decided by the court. While trials resolve all of the issues between parties, hearings are designed to address issues that come up during the process or issues that need to be decided prior to trial.

Examples include hearings for temporary orders (putting some orders into place while the case is moving towards trial) or hearings to resolve issues about what evidence may be used at the trial.

Hearing paperwork needs to be filed with the court and served on the other party so they also have the opportunity to be heard about the issue.

Forms and instructions

Hearings are requested by filing a:

  • Motion - this form is used to explain why you are asking for a hearing
  • Notice of Hearing - this form is used to schedule the hearing date and time
  • (Proposed) Order - this form is filled out in the way you would like the judge to sign it
  • Declaration - this optional form provides a way to give more information to support your motion

Washington state's official mandatory pattern forms for family law cases are on the State Court website. These forms include a blank Motion for Order (FL All Family 181), Order (FL All Family 182), Notice of Hearing (FL All Family 185), and Declaration (FL All Family 135). These can be modified for use in other types of cases.

All documents need to be served on the other party and a proof of service completed and filed at the Clerk's Office.

The King County Law Library has an infographic that explains how motions, declarations, and orders work together.

Washington LawHelp has forms and instructions for some specific types of motions that you can customize for your situation.

For additional information about  declarations, see the steps in a family law case page.


If the other party sets a hearing date and you need more time to prepare for the hearing you may ask for a continuance. This is a request to the court to reschedule the hearing date and requires a good reason.

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Chapters 4 and 7 pertain to motions, which are used to request a hearing

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