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

Updated November 2016

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 for those circumstances 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), 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
    • 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 affected by the motion.
  • 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:
    • With the other party’s written consent; or,
    • With the Court’s permission, by filing a Form 14B Motion Form under section 14(10) of the Family Law Rules
  • 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.

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)
    • Table of Contents for the Continuing Record
    • (See the link to the above-listed Family Law Rules forms in the Resources section of this How-To Brief)

6Prepare the documents

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

7Serve and file the documents

  • Seven days before the scheduled motion date, an updated Financial Statement or an Affidavit with respect to the moving party's financial information must be served on the responding party(ies) (Rule 13(12.2)).
  • Four days before the scheduled motion date, the Notice of Motion, Affidavit and a copy of the updated Table of Contents from the Continuing Record listing the documents being served must be served on the responding party(ies).
  • Two days before the scheduled motion date, the moving party must file in the continuing record all the original motion documents that were served on the responding party(ies) along with completed Affidavit of Service.

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

  • Two days before the scheduled motion date, by 2:00 p.m., the moving party must file a Confirmation with the court (Form 14C). Parties or their counsel should consult with each other prior to filing the Form 14C, unless the parties are self-represented and prohibited from communicating by court order.
  • The 14C Confirmation must only list the specific issues that are to be addressed at the Motion. The Confirmation should also indicate which materials the judge should review with clear reference to the specific volume, tab and page numbers of the Continuing Record.
  • The 14C Confirmation must include an appropriate time estimate for the entire motion, including the time required by the other party.
  • (See the link to the above-listed Family Law Rules form in the Resources section of this How-To Brief)


Statutes and Rules

Other Resources