Respond to an application to enforce a parenting agreement or order in Provincial Court

Provincial Court

Introduction

You've been served with a Notice of Motion

A Notice of Motion is the court document used to apply to enforce a parenting agreement or order.

Your child's other parent has applied to enforce a parenting agreement or order. They think you're not following the agreement or order. For example, if you're:

  • not showing up or being available to care for a child as agreed or ordered, or
  • refusing to let the other parent spend time with the child.

The Notice of Motion will describe what orders the applicant is asking for.

You need to attend the hearing at the date and time shown on The Notice of Motion. If you can't go to court on that date, go to the court registry and tell them you need to adjourn (delay) the case to another date.

If you don't go to court, the judge can still make orders that affect you. It makes sense for you to be there.

Prepare to respond

You'll need

  • Something to write with, such as a pen or a computer
  • Something to write in, such as a notebook or a document

Read the Notice of Motion and any affidavits and make a list of:

  • all the things that the other parent says have happened, and
  • what the other person (the law calls them the other party) wants the court to order.

Write notes. Be prepared to tell your side of the story.

You don't need to file any court documents. Just show up and be prepared to respond to what the other person's asking for. Have an idea of what orders you'd like the court to make and be prepared to give evidence (talk) about why the court should make those orders.

What if I don't respond?

Don't ignore the application. If you can't go to court on the date that's in the Notice of Motion, go to the court registry and tell them you need to adjourn the case to another date.

If you don't attend court, the judge can make an order without hearing your side of things. You'll have no input into the decision.

If you deliberately ignore the other person's application, it can be very difficult — and sometimes even impossible — for you to change any order the judge makes without you there.
Wellness

It's normal to feel uncertain, but you can do this. Take your time.

Go to the hearing

You'll need

  • To prepare for the hearing

To prepare for your hearing, see:

The hearing for an application to enforce a parenting agreement or order will be very similar to a trial, but it might be less formal or follow a different format. See What happens at a Provincial Court family law trial? for more information about trials.

Wellness

Being prepared ensures that your side of the story is heard and considered. You can do this.

Get the order

At the end of the hearing, the judge might give a decision right away or might delay giving the decision until a later date.

If the judge doesn't make their decision that day:

  • the clerk will give you a date to come back to court and hear the decision, or
  • the registry will contact you later to give you a date to come and hear the decision, or
  • the judge will write their decision and mail it to you and the other parent.

If you or the other person has a lawyer, one of the lawyers will prepare the order. If neither of you has a lawyer, the registry clerk will prepare the order.

The order is effective as soon as the judge makes it, unless they specify a different date.


You've completed all the steps to respond to an application to enforce a parenting order or agreement. Thank you for using our step-by-step guide.

Wellness

Your emotions may change often. Whatever you feel is normal and okay.