1. Figure out if you meet the test

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Family Law - Going to family court
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General

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What is an urgent motion with notice in family law and what happens at one?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
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1. Figure out if you meet the test

Identify the risk

You can bring an urgent motion with notice only in very few situations. This includes where:

  • the situation is urgent
  • you will face hardship if you have to wait to bring your motion after a case conference
  • it is in the "interests of justice" that your motion be heard before a case conference

For example:

  • The situation may be urgent if you feel that there is an immediate risk that your partner will abduct or seriously harm you or your children.
  • You may face hardship if you don't have enough money to pay your mortgage and the bank has threatened to take legal action against you.

You must give detailed, specific information:

  • About your concerns. For example,
    • any history of partner abuse or violence against others
    • alcohol or drug abuse
    • history of mental illness
    • times you partner made threats against you or the children and the most recent threats
    • times your partner has taken the children and not returned them
    • information that shows your partner is planning to leave the country
    • information that shows your partner has ties to another country, such as family or property
  • That shows why you can't wait until after a case conference to bring your motion

You should also ask the court clerk when the next case conference date is. This will help you decide if you can wait to bring your motion until after a case conference.

Depending on the issues, the court may also want to know if you've made any efforts to settle your matter. For example, if you say you are in urgent financial need, you must have asked your partner if they would pay you some support before you bring an urgent motion with notice.

Think about the orders you want

You may want to ask the court for an order that:

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Reviewed: July 1, 2018

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