3. Go to court

Can I move with my child after separation or divorce?
This question has an answer and 3 steps

3. Go to court

If your partner still doesn't agree to you moving with your child, even with the help of a family law professional, or if this is not the right option for you, you will have to go to court.

Going to court can be a complicated process and it can take a lot of time. It can be stressful and expensive, but it is sometimes necessary to decide your issues. This family law court process flowchart explains each step in a family law court case.

You have to start a family court case if:

If you have a final court order and need to change it, you can bring a motion to change. A motion to change is the name of the court process you use to ask a judge to change your court order.

You have to show the judge:

  1. There has been a change that affects your child or the ability of you and your partner to meet the needs of your child.
  2. The change must greatly affect your child.
  3. The change is something that could not have been predicted at the time the original order was made.

A judge looks at the facts of your situation and the best interests of the child test to decide if you can move.

The judge also looks at:

  • the relationship between each parent and the child
  • the child having contact with both parents
  • in some cases, the child’s views and wishes
  • how the changes affect the child
  • the reason for the move only if it:
    • affects the ability of the parent to meet the child's needs,
    • doesn't take into account the best interests of the child, or
    • is done to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says about access. A lawyer can also explain why you might choose to go to court and help you through the process.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide "unbundled" or "limited scope" services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
Reviewed: July 15, 2019

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