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What if I need a court order quickly to deal with partner abuse issues?

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What if I need a court order quickly to deal with partner abuse issues?

Glossary

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Reviewed: 
August, 2017
Answer

It can take a long time to resolve your issues. There are many steps in the family court process before a trial. Most family law cases are resolved by reaching an agreement before you would need a trial.

If you need a court order quickly, you can bring a motion.

A motion is a court process that asks a judge to make a decision about a specific issue before the full trial takes place, or before you resolve your issues with your partner.

For example, parents who separate may bring a motion to get a temporary order that says where their children will live and which school they will go to.

After hearing your motion, the judge usually makes a temporary order. This means that the order lasts for a certain period of time, or until it is replaced by an agreement or another order.

An abusive relationship can affect your family law issues in several ways. You might need to ask for certain types of orders that take your safety concerns and past abuse into account.

For example, if you've been abused by your partner, you might need a temporary order to protect yourself, your children, or your financial rights. You might need to bring a motion for things like:

Different types of motions

There are a few types of motions. The type of motion you bring, and when you bring your motion, depend on:

  • how urgent your situation is
  • whether you and your partner agree on the issue

Regular motions

If you need a temporary order before your trial but your situation isn't urgent, you bring a regular motion. Step 3 below has more information on regular motions.

Urgent motions

If you need a temporary order urgently, you can bring:

  • an urgent motion with notice to your partner, or
  • an urgent motion without notice to your partner. This is also called an emergency motion or ex parte motion.

Step 2 below has more information on urgent motions. You can only bring urgent motions in certain situations. It is difficult to get an order based on an urgent motion.

The Steps in a Family Law Case flowchart has a section on motions called What if you need a court order quickly?. It lets you know what you need to do to bring a motion and how to respond to one filed against you.

Safety and court process

If your partner doesn't know where you live and you fear for your safety, you don't have to put your home address on your court documents. If you have a lawyer, the lawyer usually puts their office address on the court documents.

If you don't have a lawyer, you can put any address where you can pick up documents from. The address you put down is for your partner to send things to when they need to serve you with their court forms and documents. For example, you can put a friend or a family member's address.

If you fear for your safety or the safety of any friend or family member when serving documents, you can ask the court staff to arrange for your documents to be served.

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