Urgent or Emergency Situations

An ‘emergency’ application may be filed when there is a likelihood of danger to those involved, either one of the parties or a child. For example, if there is a risk of violence or immediate harm, or the child is on the way to the airport and may be taken out of the country, this may be considered an ‘emergency’.

An ‘urgent’ application may be filed when your situation is not an ‘emergency’, but may be time-sensitive, or needs to be heard quickly because of special circumstances. A judge or court officer will decide whether your situation will be treated on an urgent basis.

In these situations, you will file the same documents as for any application, as well as an affidavit. You will also file a ‘Notice of Motion for Interim Relief.’ There is an additional filing fee of $66.00 when filing a Notice of Motion for Interim Relief.

In a Notice of Motion for Interim Relief, you will check off only those issues that you are asking to have dealt with on an urgent or emergency basis. These issues must also be checked off on your Notice of Application. For example: you may be asking to address decision-making responsibility, parenting time, and child support in your Notice of Application, but only the decision-making responsibility and parenting issues are urgent. Decision-making responsibility and parenting time will be the only issues checked off on the Notice of Motion for Interim Relief. Both Notices get filed at the same time, along with all of the other required documents.

In the affidavit you must outline facts about the nature of the urgency or emergency, including:

  • what has happened;

  • why you feel it is urgent;

  • how quickly you are asking for the issue to be dealt with and why, and

  • what order you are asking for.

It may also be helpful for you to include a short cover letter with your urgent/emergency application briefly explaining to the court why you consider your situation to be urgent or an emergency. Expand on this information in your affidavit.

Please note that payment of the additional $66.00 filing fee does not guarantee your request will proceed directly to a court hearing, even if you have explained that you consider your situation to be urgent or an emergency.  After your documents are filed, a judge or court officer will decide the next steps for your request. The filing fees you paid will not be reimbursed.

It is always recommended that you speak with a lawyer about your situation. Only a lawyer can tell you what type of court application you should file. For information on ways to find a lawyer and get legal advice, including free or low-cost options, click here.

For more information about urgent/emergency applications, click here.

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