So far in this series of articles, all of the various stages of divorce that I have outlined have been necessary parts of the process. The next stage is technically optional and depends on the circumstances, so it may not apply to you and your soon-to-be-Ex. Still, in the vast majority of divorces it is a fairly routine part of the proceedings.
It involves the hearing of “Motions” by a court, pending a full trial which will take place at a later date.
What are Motions?
“Motions” are essentially formal “mini-hearings” in which you and your Ex appear (with your lawyers) before a judge in order to temporarily settle smaller issues that must or should be determined before the discovery and trial processes go forward. Motions can be brought in connection with all sorts of matters, but in a typical divorce the most common ones relate to temporary child or spousal support, getting full financial disclosure, and determining who gets custody of any children until a full trial can be held.
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What Happens Once a Motion Has Been Heard?
After a Motion hearing, the judge makes a determination on the issues raised, and grants the appropriate temporary order that is designed to lasts until there has been a final resolution of all the legal issues between the two of you at trial.
Can a Motion Be Brought at Any Time?
In Ontario, a Motion cannot be argued until (and unless) a Case Conference has been held before a judge, in which the issues have been narrowed and the possibilities for settlement have been explored.
Next article: Productions and Discovery
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