Findings and Orders After Hearing (“FOAH”) are a true and correct recitation of the findings and orders the court made in regards to a particular request for order. The Judge will normally order the party requesting the order to prepare the FOAH per the rules of court.
So why are FOAH so important? The FOAH are important because once stamped in by the court the FOAH will be the order to be followed by both parties. Once the FOAH is accepted by the court the judgment is considered entered, and the minute order no longer carries any weight. Therefore, the FOAH is important because it may be controlling for some time to come.
In a recent case I have had, the opposing party drafted the FOAH abided by rules of court, and had the FOAH was entered as the judgment. Weeks after entry of the judgment, the opposing party tried to get the FOAH changed. However, the request was untimely and we had an adversarial battle in court. The court denied the opposing party’s motion to change the FOAH as they were the party that drafted the FOAH, submitted the FOAH to the court, and there were no legal grounds to change the order.
The point of the story is, carefully draft all FOAH to correctly reflect what the court ordered, and if you have any questions on what the court ordered file for a clarification. The situation mentioned above could have been avoided if the opposing party carefully drafted the FOAH or filed for a clarification within a timely matter.
If you recently had a court date and have been ordered to draft the FOAH and need help, please contact our office today. Additionally, if you have any questions regarding your divorce, child custody, child support, etc., please call our office to schedule a consultation.