5. Go to your court date

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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?
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5. Go to your court date

When you go to your court date, the judge will have all the documents you and your partner filed.

Most of the time, the judge makes a decision based only on the written documents. And, there are usually no witnesses on a motion.

This means you can only refer to the evidence in your affidavit or other documents you filed with the court. So it's very important to include all the evidence you have in your affidavits.

But the judge may have questions for you to help them make a decision. So you need to be prepared to speak in the courtroom. You should stand up when speaking to a judge. Remove your hat and don't chew gum when you're in court. And, turn off your cellphone.

At the end of the motion, the judge can make a temporary order that lasts for a few weeks or months while you and your partner continue to try to resolve your issues. The judge may make a decision right away. Or, they may "reserve" their decision and make it at later time.

If the judge reserves their decision, it means they need more time to review the evidence and think about the orders you're asking for. You may need to come back to court for the decision or you may be told about the decision in writing.

Your case continues through the family court process after a motion. You must follow any temporary orders until:

  • The judge makes a different decision.
  • You and your partner agree on how to resolve your issues.

Costs

If the judge decides that your situation was not urgent, they may order cost consequences. This means that you may have to pay for some or all of your partner's legal costs.

The judge may ask you for reasons why your partner should pay for some of your costs, or why you should not have to pay for some of your partner's costs.

Reviewed: July 1, 2018

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