Family Law Protection Orders Ontario

Family Law Protection Orders Ontario

Are you looking for family law protection orders in Ontario? Sometimes the conflict between former spouses builds up and turns into verbal or physical confrontations. These situations typically result in either a non-harassment, no contact or limited contact order.  Usually the terms of such orders have fairly clear direction such as “do not come within 100 yards” of the other spouse. Another example might be that one party is not to attend the work or home of the other. But what happens when the kids need to be dropped off at the other parent’s house? What about when the kids have a sporting event or musical performance and both parents want to attend?

It is always best to review any court order including restraining orders with your family law lawyer. What is written in the order is likely to have some instructions on dealing with certain situations. At the least your lawyer should be able to help you navigate how to act appropriately to ensure you are not breaching such an order. You don’t want to end up in jail.

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Family Law Protection Orders Ontario

When it comes to ensuring your parenting time is not affected you must be clear as to what the restraining order says to ensure you do not face further court time and potential penalties later on. For transferring the children in such scenarios, it might be helpful to have a third party (a friend or family member) accompany you to ensure that you have a witness to speak on your behalf.

This should keep the party who has the restraining order from trying to use it against you when you are trying your best to follow the order. It’s also a good idea to have your lawyer contact the other parent or their lawyer to discuss in as much detail, any future plans or how to approach certain topics such as shared events for the child and parameters to follow to ensure no unnecessary conflict is created while the order is in effect.

Family Law Protection Orders Ontario

Family Law Protection Orders Ontario

Typical restraining orders remain in place for a while. It normally stays until the court can be convinced that the order is no longer necessary. The best way to prove this is to follow the order. You can also seek counselling or other sorts of therapy to ensure that you are learning how to better handle conflict with your former spouse. You don’t want to test the limits of such an order. If the court thinks you are trying to get around a restraining order, it can lead to a stricter order. It can also lead to a fine or even jail time if the court feels those options are necessary to ensure their orders will be followed in the future.

A Word of Caution – Agreements Regarding Child Support or Custody and Access Are Never Final

You spend weeks or months working on a separation agreement in relation to the children. You set out the amount of child support that will be payable and you create an acceptable parenting schedule.  Both parties agree and sign off on the agreement with their lawyers.  The matter is over and done – right?

Wrong. When it comes to agreements relating to child support or custody and access, the matter may never be done. Just because you have a separation agreement doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to go to court or renegotiate terms in relation to the children. This is one of the hardest truths that many parents realize when going through a divorce.

Matters relating to children are never completely final or set in stone. When it comes to children, the circumstances are always changing.  As a parent, you are going to have to continually work with the other parent for at least the next 18 years. Often it continues even after the child has become an adult. There are complications if the child is disabled, even past the age of 18.

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With respect to child support, the paying parent’s income may fluctuate each year.  When the payor parent’s income changes, child support may need to be adjusted.  If the parties can work together, the paying parent is open about their income, and they are willing to adjust child support to match, there is often no issue.

Family law protection orders Ontario

The parties may end up in family court to adjust child support despite having a signed separation agreement in the following situations:

  • if the paying parent isn’t truthful about their income
  • the paying party refuses to disclose their income, or
  • either paying party refuses to adjust support to match updated income information

Child support can also change if the parenting arrangement changes. If the child changes residences and starts living at the other parent’s house, the parent who used to receive child support may now be responsible for paying child support. When changes occur parties will need to renegotiate. If they cannot the situation might turn to litigation if they are unable to agree.

Custody and access agreements may also change. Custody and access are always determined based upon the best interests of the child. What is in the best interests of the child at the time the separation agreement is signed may not be in their best interests a year or two down the road. It is impossible at the time of signing the agreement to know what the future will hold. It is hard to know whether the agreement will still be in the child’s best interests in the future.

What is in the child’s best interests?

A child’s interests may change based on their family circumstances. Therefore the right custody and access situation for the child will change. The following are a few examples of changes:

  • the parent needs to move
  • a parent being unable to care for the child
  • the child being old enough to express they wish to change the custody or access arrangement

When the child’s situation changes, parents will need to revisit the custody and access agreement. If parents can work together, they may not need to head into litigation.  It will depend on the circumstances.

Having a separation agreement doesn’t mean you won’t have to renegotiate in the future. Having an agreement doesn’t mean you won’t ever go to the court.  It is best to stay on good terms with the other parent. It can make changes to the child’s circumstances and necessary updates to the agreement easier to navigate.

Do you still have questions regarding family law protection orders Ontario? What about terms relating to children? Speak to one of our family lawyers in the Toronto office of ClearWay Law. Contact us to book an initial consultation.

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