4. Go to court

What if my partner says they're going to take our child away from me?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
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4. 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.

If you need an order quickly, you may be able to bring a motion. This means that you ask a judge to decide specific issues before a trial. The result is usually a temporary order. This order lasts for a certain period of time, or until it is replaced by an agreement or another order.

You can bring a motion to get a court order in a few different ways:

  • a regular motion
  • an urgent motion with notice to your partner
  • an emergency or ex parte motion without notice to your partner

Regular motion

You might want to bring a motion to ask the court to make an order that:

  • limits your partner’s access to a few hours at a time, or none at all
  • gives your partner only supervised access
  • prevents your partner from removing the children from the province or country, which is called a non-removal order

Usually, you have to wait until after you've had a case conference before you can bring a regular motion.

See Step 3 in What if I need a court order quickly to deal with partner abuse issues? for more information on regular motions.

Urgent or emergency motion

There are 2 types of motions that you can bring in very few situations if you need a temporary order urgently:

  • an urgent motion with notice to your partner
  • an emergency or ex parte motion without notice to your partner

The difference between these 2 types of motions is whether you give your partner notice. Notice means that you serve your partner with your court documents for the motion and they have a chance to respond before a judge makes a decision.

If you bring a motion before you have had a case conference or before you start a case, you have to show the court why you could not wait to bring your motion until after a case conference.

See Step 2 in What if I need a court order quickly to deal with partner abuse issues? for more information on urgent motions.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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