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What happens after my family law trial?
As of March 1, 2021, the term custody has changed to decision-making responsibility. And in most situations, the term access has changed to parenting time. Now, all parents usually have parenting time.
Also, a person who isn't a parent or step-parent may get a contact order to spend time with a child. For example a grandparent can get this order.
At the end of your trial, the judge makes a decision using the family law rules and laws and the evidence you give. They make decisions using a test called the balance of probabilities. This means that your evidence has to be more believable than your partner's evidence.
The judge can make a decision right at the end of the trial, after a short break, or some time later. When a judge waits to make a decision later, this is called reserving judgment.
The judge can take a few days or several months to decide, depending on:
- how complex the issues in your case are
- the evidence that was presented
- the number of other cases the judge is hearing
You may need to come back to court for the decision or you may be told about the decision in writing.