December 19, 2023 In Divorce, Family Law (General)

Minute Orders in Family Law: Deciphering Their Role and Differentiation from Findings and Orders After Hearing

In family law, understanding court documents is crucial. Among these, “minute orders” and “findings and orders after hearing” are key documents, each serving distinct purposes.

What is a Minute Order?

A minute order is a brief record of the proceedings of a court hearing. It’s usually prepared by the court clerk and contains essential details such as:

  • Date and time of the hearing
  • Names of the parties involved
  • Presence or absence of the parties and their attorneys
  • Summary of the court’s oral rulings
  • Other relevant procedural details

For instance, in a child custody hearing, the minute order might record the date, participants, and the court’s initial decision regarding custody arrangements.

How is it Different from a Finding and Order After Hearing?

A “finding and order after hearing” is a more detailed document. It’s typically prepared by the judge or the prevailing party’s attorney and then reviewed by the judge. This document includes:

  • Detailed findings of fact: The judge’s detailed conclusions about the facts of the case.
  • Legal conclusions: The judge’s application of law to these facts.
  • Specific orders: Detailed directives about what each party must do or refrain from doing.

Consider a divorce case involving asset division. The findings and order after hearing would detail each spouse’s assets, how the law applies to these, and specific orders on who receives what.

Key Differences:

1. Detail and Length: Minute orders are brief; findings and orders after hearing are comprehensive.

2. Content: Minute orders summarize court proceedings; findings and orders are conclusive and include the court’s reasoning.

3. Preparation: The court clerk prepares minute orders; findings and orders are usually drafted by a judge or an attorney.

Examples for Clarity:

  • Child Support: A minute order might simply state that one party must pay child support. The findings and order after hearing would detail the calculation of this support, based on income and custody.
  • Spousal Support: In spousal support cases, the minute order might note the amount and duration of support. The findings and order would provide a rationale for this decision, considering factors like duration of marriage and each party’s financial status.
  • Property Division: During property division, a minute order might list the assets to be divided. The findings and order would explain the legal basis for how these assets are split.


Understanding these documents is vital in family law cases. While minute orders provide a quick reference to what happened in court, findings and orders after hearing offer a detailed account and legal basis of the court’s decision.

For expert legal representation in family law matters, contact The Mines Law Firm. We are dedicated to guiding you through complex legal processes with professionalism and expertise.

This blog post is designed to provide clear, professional information about minute orders and findings and orders after hearing, tailored for a general audience. It avoids legal jargon and focuses on examples to elucidate the concepts.