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Temporary Court Orders

What is a temporary Court Order?

A temporary Court Order is one which is meant to determine an issue on a temporary as opposed to final basis. It can be changed in certain circumstances and it can be replaced by a final Order.

When can a temporary Order be made?

A temporary Order in a case can be made after a Conference is held on the issue in dispute and there is no resolution of that issue. This does not apply in the case of urgency in which case a temporary Order can be sought by a party without having first attended at a Conference. An example of an urgent situation may be the abduction of a child.

Is it always necessary to seek temporary Court Orders?

It may not be necessary to seek temporary Court Orders if the issues in a family law case can be resolved by agreement either at a Court Conference or out of Court.

Is it possible to change a temporary Court Order?

It may be possible to change a temporary Court Order if there has been what is referred to as a material change in circumstances such that the terms of the temporary Court Order may no longer be appropriate.

What are the costs involved in obtaining a temporary Court Order?

The costs of seeking a temporary Court Order may be significant as this will require the bringing of a Motion to the Court which will in turn require the preparation of Affidavit evidence.

Is there any risk of having to pay the costs of the other party in the event that the request for a temporary Court Order is not successful?

There is always the possibility of the Court requiring the losing party to pay the costs of the successful party at a Motion. In order to try to avoid having to pay costs, and in order to increase your chances of having the opposing party pay your costs, it is advisable to serve an Offer to Settle with reasonable terms prior to the hearing of the Motion as the Court may then take this into account in determining the issue of costs.

What are some of the issues that may need to be dealt with by way of temporary Court Orders?

It may be necessary to seek a temporary Court Order in the following scenarios:

  1. Non-payment of child and/or spousal support where there is need;
  2. Overholding of a child following an access visit (i.e. not returning the child to the other parent);
  3. Where a restraining Order is needed;
  4. Imminent risk of one spouse depleting a significant asset.

How do you know if you should be pursuing a temporary Court Order?

Every case is different with its own set of facts. It is advisable to speak with a lawyer regarding your specific fact situation in order to obtain advice specific to your case.

(The information provided above is general, not legal advice, as circumstances vary from case to case. As well, generally speaking, the above information relates to Ontario law. Thus, if you wish legal advice that you can rely upon for your specific case, or if you are making inquiries where Ontario law may not apply, please contact a local family lawyer)

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