Modification and Enforcement Lawyers in Toronto Helping You Make Changes
By the time a final order is handed down in a family law matter, you have probably spent months working through negotiations or going through the trial process. It can be a relief to finally see the light at the end of the legal tunnel and be able to get back to normal life. But what if the other person doesn’t follow the court’s direction or you find out that what you thought would be ideal isn’t working in real life? These kinds of situations aren’t uncommon, and it’s why the courts leave a path for modification and enforcement of court orders.
Change may be difficult, but sometimes, it’s necessary. Work with one of our lawyers to modify or enforce an existing court order.
What Does Modifying a Court Order Mean?
Modifying a court order means that you are asking the courts to make a change to an order that it has already set forth. Modifications to court orders are common for spousal support, child support, and child custody. Orders involving children, in particular, are likely to go through at least one modification at some point because the needs and best interests of children change as they get older, as do the parents’ circumstances. You may have started with joint custody, but if one parent moves across the country, a modification to a sole custody order may make more sense.
How Do I Request a Modification to an Existing Order?
To request a modification of an existing court order, you will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the local court. An lawyer can help you make sure that the filings are done correctly and that all of the information required is provided. In general, you will need the information from the standing court order, as well as an outline of what you are asking for and why the change is needed. If the order being modified is a child custody order, you will need to provide evidence of why the change is in the best interests of the children.
Once you have filed the request, you will be assigned a hearing date. At that time, the judge will review the evidence you’ve presented as well as any opposing arguments from the other parties involved. The judge will then make a decision on whether to grant the modification request. If they agree, a new order will be issued.
What Happens When the Court Starts Enforcement Measures?
Enforcement happens when one party isn’t following through with what was outlined in a court order. One common example is if one party is ordered to pay spousal support or child support to the other but doesn’t make the payments. In this situation, the courts could start enforcement measures to penalize the person for not paying. The possible consequences for not following a court order can vary depending on the type of order, but they can range from having to pay fines to jail time.
It is very important that you abide by all the terms outlined in the court orders. If there is something going on, such as job loss, that makes it difficult or impossible to follow the court order, it’s important to let the courts know as soon as possible.
Do I Need a lawyer to Modify or Enforce an Order?
The Ontario courts do not require a lawyer to submit a modification petition or ask the courts to enforce an order. However, these actions–modifications in particular–often rely on being able to present a thorough and persuasive argument to the courts about why your request is valid. An lawyer has the experience to know what modifications or enforcement are allowed by Ontario law and can draft a request that meets the legal guidelines.
If a court order isn’t being followed or you believe that a modification is in order, Anthony Family Law can help. We will sit down with you to discuss your case and why what is currently ordered isn’t working. Then, we can help you understand your options and start taking steps toward something that is more reflective of the current situation. Call 647-933-2397 to find out more.