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How to Bring a Family Law Motion for a Temporary Order in the Superior Court of Justice

Updated March 2019

This How-to brief outlines the steps to take to bring a motion on notice to seek temporary relief in a family law matter.

 

Note: There may be circumstances where a motion may be brought without notice to the opposing party. The procedure and forms are not addressed in this how-to-brief.

1Review the legislation

  • Review Rules 9, 13, 14 of the Family Law Rules; the Divorce Act; the Family Law Act; the Children's Law Reform Act; and, the Child Support Guidelines;
  • Review any other legislation or resources that may be relevant for the motion.

2When can a motion be brought

Note: No motion can be brought until a case conference dealing with the substantive issues has been completed (except in the case of urgency or hardship as set out in Rule 14(4.2) and Rule 14(6), in which case leave to have the motion heard prior to a case conference must be sought and obtained from the court).

  • Determine what relief/order is required and whether it can be obtained by way of motion. A motion can be brought to:
    • resolve issues raised in the Application on a temporary basis;
    • ask for directions on how to proceed in the matter; or,
    • change an order already made.

3Determine who may make the motion and who the parties are

  • A motion can be brought by a party to the matter or by a person with an interest in the matter;
  • A person who is affected by the motion is a party for the purposes of a motion except for a child affected by a motion for custody, access, child protection, adoption or child support.

4Schedule the motion

  • Check with the court to determine on which day(s) the motion can be brought and for any other local practices;
  • In many jurisdictions, the moving party can select the date for the short motion (i.e., under one hour) provided the date selected is one on which the court in that jurisdiction normally hears motions (for example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Toronto);
  • In Toronto, a Long Motion (over one hour) must be scheduled through the Trial Coordinator in the Family Court Office. A Long Motion can be scheduled either:
    1. With the other party’s written consent; or,
    2. With the Court’s permission, by filing a Form 14B Motion Form
  • In Newmarket, however, one must obtain a fixed appointment from the court clerk in advance;
  • A motion may be arranged by telephone or video conference by contacting the court office, making the necessary arrangements, or serving a notice of appointment and arrangements on all other parties;
  • If a party wants a motion to be heard by telephone or video conference, the moving party must:
    • Obtain an appointment from the clerk for the hearing of the motion;
    • Make the necessary arrangements;
    • Serve a notice of the appointment and arrangements on all other parties and file it; and,
    • Participate in the motion as the notice specifies.

5Determine the documents required

  • A motion made with notice requires the following:
    • Notice of Motion (three copies) (Form 14);
    • Affidavit (three copies) (Form 14A);
    • Financial Statement (Form 13 or 13.1) or "updating" Affidavit in Form 14A, if applicable;
    • Affidavit of Service (Form 6B); and,
    • Table of Contents for the Continuing Record;
  • If a motion is limited to procedural, uncomplicated or unopposed matters (i.e., on consent), the moving party may use a motion Form 14B instead of a notice of motion and affidavit.

6Prepare the documents

  • The Notice of Motion includes the date, time and location of the motion and what relief/order is being sought pursuant to which applicable legislation;
  • Review Rule 14 to determine what particulars should be included in the affidavit in support of the motion.

7Serve and file the documents (Rule 14(11))

  • Seven days before the scheduled motion date, the Notice of Motion, Affidavit and, if applicable, the updated Financial Statement or "updating" Affidavit must be served on all other parties;
  • Four days before the scheduled motion date, the documents which have been served on all other parties must be filed with the applicable court;
  • Unless there is a prohibition from communication with another party, the moving party must confer or attempt to confer, orally or in writing, with every other party about the issues that are in dispute in the motion.

NB: For a Long Motion, each party’s Factum must be filed at least seven (7) days before the hearing of the Motion.

8File a confirmation with the court

  • Three days before the motion date, by 2:00p.m., the moving party must file a Confirmation with the court (Form 14C) by delivering the Confirmation to the court office or by sending it by fax or e-mail, if available;
  • Note: Prior to giving the court clerk the Confirmation, serve a copy of the Confirmation to every other party by mail, fax, or e-mail (except in a child protection case);
  • The Confirmation must only list the specific issues that are to be addressed at the Motion and should indicate which materials the judge should review (i.e., with reference to the specific volume, tab and page numbers of the Continuing Record) and should also include an appropriate time estimate for the entire motion.
  • If a party who has given a Confirmation (Form 14C) determines prior to the motion that the confirmation is no longer correct, the party shall immediately give a corrected Confirmation to every other party and give the court clerk the corrected Confirmation.

Resources

Statutes and Rules

Other Resources