Asking for a Temporary Decision Before a Divorce Trial

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Getting a trial date for a divorce case can take months or even a year or more. But some issues cannot wait until the trial. Therefore, a spouse can ask a judge to make a temporary decision on these issues.

 

There are two kinds of requests, called applications:

  • To settle an urgent situation, a spouse can ask for a safeguard order. The application for a safeguard order can be included with the application for divorce. A safeguard order is good for up to six months and then can be renewed. 
  • A spouse can also ask for provisional measures to settle situations that are not urgent on a temporary basis until the divorce. The application for provisional measures can be included with the application for divorce. Provisional measures are usually in place until the divorce decision.

A spouse can do these things: 

  • ask only for a safeguard order to settle urgent situations 
  • ask only for provisional measures to settle situations that are not urgent 
  • ask for both a safeguard order and provisional measures at the same time 

 

Preparing the Application

Applications for a safeguard order and for provisional measures include this information, among other things:

1. A short description of the spouses, their family situation and what has happened in the file up to this point

Example:

On March 12, 2017, the spouses stopped living together.
 
The parties have two children:

  1. Lavoie, Marie-Pierre, born on December 2 . . .

 

2. what the spouse is asking for and why

Example: 

The applicant (spouse making the request) is asking for sole custody of the children because he has always been very involved in their lives . . . 

 

3. If a spouse asks for a safeguard order, a few lines explaining why the situation is urgent

4. Conclusions 

Example:

For these reasons, the applicant asks this court to grant him sole custody of the children . . .  

 

5.  What the spouse wants the judge to order.

Example:

The applicant respectfully asks the court to order the following:

  • Award sole custody of the children to the applicant.
  • Award visiting rights to the defendant (other spouse) from Saturday 10 a.m. to Sunday 6 p.m. every second weekend.
  • Order the defendant to . . . 

 

6.  Place, date and signature of the spouse or the law firm representing the spouse

 

These documents MUST be included with the application: 

Affidavit

An affidavit is an official written statement.

In the affidavit, the spouse must state before an authorized person (called a commissioner for oaths) that everything the application says is true. Then the spouse signs the affidavit. 

To find a commissioner for oaths, see the Justice Québec website.

 

Summons and Notice of Presentation 

A summons is a notice to the other spouse saying that an application has been made and that the spouse must answer it within a fixed time period. It is attached to the application and must be in a form approved by the ministère de la justice.

The notice of presentation is a notice to the other spouse saying when and where the application will be presented to a judge. 

If the spouse is asking for support payments for himself, the notice of presentation also mentions that the other spouse must complete Form III: Statement of Income and Expenditures and Balance Sheet. 

If the spouse asks for child support payments, then the application must include these documents:  

If the spouse is asking for support payments for himself, then the application must include these documents:

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.