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Divorce is often a distressing and emotionally taxing experience.  Unfortunately, when children are involved, divorcing parties cannot simply walk away from one another and never look back.  Separating from a co-parent means that you can never truly be disconnected from your former spouse, and you must find a way to move forward with the best interests of your children in mind.

The best outcomes are always reached when former spouses agree on decision-making responsibility (formerly custody), parenting time (formerly access) and other arrangements with the children. Nobody knows your children and your family situation better than the two of you and parenting arrangements are most likely to succeed when they are based in agreement.  Former spouses are sometimes able to reach an agreement on these topics with the assistance of a professional such as a mediator or a lawyer, even if only temporarily.  This agreement is then memorialized and submitted to the judge to be entered as a temporary order of the court.  If the divorcing parties are unable to reach an agreement on parenting, a judge may rule on parenting arrangements and issue a temporary parenting (formerly custody) order.

What is a Temporary Parenting (Formerly Custody) Order?

Temporary orders are those that must be followed by the divorcing parties until the issuance of a further order by the court or later agreement by the parties.  A temporary parenting order should include things like a parenting schedule, decision-making responsibility, traveling with the child, how family events should be handled, temporary child support and/or spousal support amounts.

If you and your former spouse are unable to reach an agreement on parenting, a talented family law lawyer can assist you in making a motion for a temporary parenting order and represent you at court on the parenting motion.  At the hearing, each of you will have the opportunity to make requests and present facts after which the judge will issue a ruling.  The judge’s ruling will take all the evidence presented into account and will ultimately be based on what is in the best interests of the child.  However, by availing yourself of qualified legal counsel, you are more likely to have an order issued with terms that are favorable to you, which, while temporary, can ultimately have bearing on the final outcome of your divorce.

How Long Does a Temporary Parenting (Formerly Custody) Order Last?

Temporary orders will remain in place until the judge issues a final order, or if the parties are able to negotiate a final parenting agreement without the court’s intervention, after which the terms of the temporary order will either be implemented in the final order or the temporary order will be dissolved.  Because the length and complexity of divorce proceedings can vary widely, the duration of a temporary order may last from a few weeks or months to a few years.  However, temporary orders may be changed through agreement with your former spouse or through a court order.  If you and your spouse are not in agreement about a change, you can make a motion to the court for a modification, but any modification must be in the best interest of the child.

How Does the Judge Determine Decision-Making Responsibility (Formerly Custody)?

When parties are unable to reach an agreement on decision-making responsibility, the court will do it for them.  The judge will use the best interest of the child standard along with the evidence presented by the parties to reach a decision and issue an order.  Some of the factors a judge will use in making their decision include:

  • The child’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being;
  • The relationship between each parent and child;
  • The mental and physical health of the parents;
  • Each parent’s plan to care for and raise the child;
  • The wishes of the child (if they are old enough to express themselves);
  • The age and sex of the child;
  • The child’s adjustment to school and community;
  • The need for the continuation of a stable home environment; and
  • Religious or cultural considerations.

Judges will also make their determination with the idea in mind that it is usually best for children to have as much contact as possible with each parent.

Steps in Obtaining a Temporary Parenting (Formerly Custody) Order

Completing the Application You will make a motion for a temporary parenting order by submitting all the evidence for your requested terms.
Filing the Application The motion will be filed with the court after which a hearing will be scheduled.
Serving the People Entitled to the Notice of Application Each person interested in the proceeding is entitled to receive notice of the motion and the hearing.

Gelman & Associates Can Help You With Your Temporary Parenting (Formerly Custody) Order

Before speaking to a family lawyer, many people have no idea what to do or where to start.  When you speak to a lawyer at Gelman & Associates you will leave the conversation knowing how to move forward.  If you find yourself adrift after having made the decision to separate from your spouse, contact the lawyers at Gelman & Associates to lead you through Ontario’s family law system and help you with your temporary parenting order.  Call (416) 736-0200 to speak to one of our qualified and caring lawyers about your family today.

FAQs on How Long Does a Temporary Parenting (Formerly Custody) Order Last in Divorce

Temporary orders may be changed through agreement with your former spouse or through a court order.  If you and your spouse are not in agreement about a change you wish to seek, you can make a motion to the court for a modification.

To protect the best interests of the children, to prevent another parent from moving away with the child until court proceedings have ended, or if your former spouse is threatening to limit your access to the children.

The cost of obtaining a temporary parenting order will vary from case to case.  Contact your family law lawyer for a better sense of possible expenses.

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