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Motion to Change

A Motion to Change is a legal process that allows individuals to modify a previous court order or agreement. This process can be used for a variety of family law matters, including custody, access, child support, spousal support, and property division. In Canada, a Motion to Change can be initiated in any province or territory, and the rules and procedures may differ slightly depending on the jurisdiction.

Initiating a Motion to Change

To initiate a Motion to Change, the first step is to file a Form 15: Motion to Change with the court. This form outlines the existing order or agreement that the party wishes to change and the reasons for the requested change. The reasons must fall under one of three categories: a material change in circumstances, a mistake of fact, or a failure to consider certain factors at the time the order or agreement was made.

Once the Form 15 is filed, a court date will be set, and the other party will be served with a copy of the form and notified of the court date. The other party will then have an opportunity to file a response, Form 15A: Response to Motion to Change, which outlines their position on the requested changes.

Evidence and Disclosure

Both parties are required to provide full and frank disclosure of all relevant information and documentation related to the Motion to Change. This includes financial information, medical records, and any other information that may be relevant to the requested changes. Failure to disclose relevant information can result in serious consequences, including contempt of court.

At the court hearing, each party will have an opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of their position. This may include testimony from witnesses, documents, and other evidence. The judge will then make a decision based on the evidence and arguments presented at the hearing.

Factors Considered by the Court

The court will consider family law rules and a variety of factors when making a decision on a Motion to Change, including:

  • The best interests of the child: When it comes to matters related to children, the court’s primary consideration is the best interests of the child. This includes factors such as the child’s needs, preferences, and relationships with each parent.
  • Material change in circumstances: The court will consider whether there has been a material change in circumstances since the previous order or agreement was made. This can include changes in income, employment, health, or other significant changes.
  • Financial circumstances: The court will consider the financial circumstances of each party, including income, expenses, and any other relevant financial information.
  • Prior conduct: The court may consider the prior conduct of each party when making a decision. This can include factors such as abuse, neglect, or any other conduct that may be relevant to the requested changes.
  • Existing order or agreement: The court will consider the existing order or agreement that is being requested to be changed, including the terms and conditions of the order or agreement.

Appealing a Decision

If a party is not satisfied with the decision made by the court, they may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court. The rules and procedures for appealing a decision vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of decision being appealed.

Motion to Change is a legal process that allows individuals to modify a previous court order or agreement. It is important to understand the rules and procedures associated with a Motion to Change and to work with an experienced family law lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. By providing full and frank disclosure of all relevant information and presenting compelling evidence and arguments, you can increase your chances of success in a Motion to Change.

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