4. Continue with the court process

How do I bring a motion to change a court order for child custody, access, or parenting?
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4. Continue with the court process

The court process for motions to change is similar to starting a family law case.

This family law court process flowchart explains each step in a family law court case. It tells you what happens and what you have to do if you start a court case or if you're responding to a court case your partner started.

A motion to change may involve a first court date, if your case is at the Ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court Branch of the Superior Court of Justice, unless it includes a claim for divorce or dividing property.

If you're at the Superior Court of Justice, you'll need to ask the court clerk to schedule a case conference.

Some locations of the Superior Court of Justice and Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice have dispute resolution officers (DRO). They are not judges but are trained to help people resolve their issues.

In locations where the DRO program is offered, motions to change come before a DRO first, instead of a judge. DRO's cannot make orders. But they can help you and your partner talk about the issues and come to an agreement that can be confirmed by a judge.

A judge looks at your situation and the best interests of the child test to make decisions about custody, access, and parenting. Judges usually assume it's better for a child to have a relationship with both parents after they separate or divorce.

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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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