4. Get evidence to support your motion

What if I need a court order quickly to deal with partner abuse issues?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
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4. Get evidence to support your motion

A judge usually decides a motion based on your court forms and written evidence only. So it is important to give detailed information about any family violence that can help them understand why you want the court order that you are asking for.

For example, if you're asking for a restraining order or supervised access, it is important that you give proof of why you need this type of order. If you have safety concerns because of past abuse, you need to give evidence that your partner abused you or your children.

You want the judge to understand:

  • the pattern of abuse -- how often it happened and what caused it
  • how long it has been going on
  • whether it is getting worse
  • your safety concerns, based on past or current abuse

They also need to know whether your children are safe. You need to tell them about:

  • threats your partner has made about your children
  • times your partner has taken and not returned your children
  • how your partner has harmed your children
  • information that shows your partner is planning to leave the country

You should also gather other evidence of the abuse or neglect. There are many types of partner abuse. Your evidence might include:

  • records of 911 calls
  • criminal charges, bail conditions, or terms of probation
  • evidence that your partner did not follow a family court restraining order in the past
  • hospital reports, if you went to the hospital for treatment after an assault
  • photographs of injuries
  • evidence your partner stalked you after you separated
  • emails, letters, text messages, voicemails, or social media posts that show abuse, violence, control, or harassment
  • documents from a Children's Aid Society that show how they’ve been involved with your family

You can also get other people to give evidence for you, such as:

  • your family doctor, if you talked to them about the abuse
  • your religious leader, if you turned to them for support
  • your employer or co-workers, if they witnessed abuse, violence, or harassment
  • friends, family members, or neighbours, if they witnessed abuse, violence, or harassment
  • school teachers and day care workers, if the children spoke about or showed signs of abuse at home
  • shelter workers, therapists, or counsellors, if they have helped you

You May Also Need

Love is Respect
Luke's Place (This resource is written for women in abusive relationships but might help anyone in an abusive relationship.)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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