What happens at a family law trial?

5. Get the judge’s decision

The judge makes a decision using the family law rules and laws and the evidence you give. They make decisions using a test called the . This means that your evidence has to be more believable than your partner’s evidence.

The judge can make a decision right at the end of the trial, after a short break, or some time later. When a judge waits to make a decision later, this is called reserving judgment.

The judge can take a few days or several months to decide, depending on:

  • how complex the issues in your case are
  • the evidence that was presented
  • the number of other cases the judge is hearing

You may need to come back to court for the decision or you may be told about the decision in writing.

Costs

The judge may order . This means the who gets the orders they’re asking for may get part of their legal fees paid for by the other party. This can happen where one partner made an offer the other didn’t accept.

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.

Get your order

The judge’s decision is usually in the form of an . An endorsement is the written directions a judge gives you and your partner that says what you must do or not do.

You should now get a formal signed order from the court. You or your partner can do this by filling out Form 25: Order listing all the orders in the endorsement, and send it to the other for approval. You must both agree with the wording of the orders. In some cases, the may prepare the order for you.

Once you have your order, it’s up to you and your partner to respect the order and follow it.

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