5. 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 appearance if your case is at the Ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court Branch of the Superior Court of Justice.

At a first appearance, a meets with you and your partner to check that all of your documents are complete and have been properly served. There may also be services available to help you and your partner to resolve your issues. If you can’t reach an agreement, the court clerk will set a date for a .

The goal of a case conference is to get you and your partner to agree on some or all of your issues without going to a  or a trial.

Dispute Resolution Officers

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 experienced family law lawyers 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 test to make decisions about and . These used to be called and . Judges usually assume it’s better for a child to have a relationship with both parents after they separate or .

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