Types of Family Judgments in Québec

A judgment is a written decision made by a judge. You may also hear it referred to as a court order.

When you start your case, you'll tell the court what issues you want judgments on. Keep in mind:

  • Requesting that your final judgment include a parenting plan, complete with a parenting time schedule, is highly recommended. A plan provides a clear guide for handling child-related matters, lessening your chance of returning to court.
  • Custody and divorce final judgments automatically cover child support.
  • Divorce final judgments also cover the division of joint property.
  • If you need to, you can request additional judgments during the case.

Custody X Change creates customizable parenting plans to include in your court judgment.

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Judgments are always part of divorce cases, regardless of whether parents reach an agreement.

In a custody or separation case, you won't get a judgment on any issue you reach an agreement about. In lieu of a judgment, you could ask the court clerk to homologate your agreement to make it legally enforceable.

It's up to the judge whether your judgment is written in English or French, and you can request translation of your judgment to either language for free.

One case could have multiple types of judgments and multiple of each type, as well.

Temporary judgments

Temporary judgments address issues that can't wait for the final judgment. There are two types of temporary judgments.

Safeguard orders

Safeguard orders address urgent matters before they cause harm.

For example, if the other parent threatens to remove your child from the province, you'll need an immediate decision to prevent them from doing so. Other safeguard orders might address where the child will live during the case, child support and who will stay in the family home.

The Barreau de Montréal has a guide to applying for a safeguard order, as well as a guide to opposing a safeguard order.

The court will hear your safeguard application if it determines your matter is urgent and could cause damage to you or your child that couldn't be undone.

You'll have to notify the other parent at least 10 days before a judge hears the application. The hearing may happen less than 10 days after you file your application if you prove that the matter is too urgent to wait. In that case, you may be exempted from giving the other parent notice, and they may not get to attend.

There is no live testimony at the hearing. Instead, the judge bases their decision on the parents' sworn statements and the paperwork filed so far in the case. The judge may ask you or your lawyer to further explain your statements. The whole process takes around 20 minutes.

A safeguard order automatically stays in effect for 30 days but can last up to six months if the court grants an extension.

Provisional measures (divorce and separation only)

Provisional measures address nonemergency issues for married parents. They can address parenting time and child support as well as matters unrelated to the child, such as who gets to hold on to certain household items.

The hearing for a provisional measure will usually occur a few months after the other parent receives notice of your request. At the hearing, which can last 20 minutes to an hour, each parent explains their position on the request and presents evidence. Other witnesses may also testify. Then the judge makes a decision.

Provisional measures stay in effect until there's a final judgment. Though unusual, it is possible to modify them. There must be a significant change in your circumstances for the court to hear a modification request.

Final judgments

Issued after a trial or when parents reach an agreement, the final judgment gives the last word on what you've asked the court to grant.

Custody, divorce and separation judgments detail final arrangements for where the child will live. If you're not married to the other parent, these are called custody arrangements. If you requested a divorce or separation, these are called parenting time arrangements.

Judgments related to custody (or parenting time) and parental authority stay in effect until any of the following happens:

  • The child turns 18.
  • The court grants a modification.
  • The child becomes legally independent (e.g., gets married).

If you disagree with a final judgment, you can file an appeal.

If a parent frequently disobeys the judgment, you can ask the court to change custody. In addition, the court may find the parent in contempt of court and require them to pay fines, do community work or both.

Following family judgments correctly

When a court issues judgments, you must follow them. If you don't, you can be brought back to court, fined and more.

But judgments are complicated, especially for parenting time. When exactly does "Week 2" begin this month? Which day marks the middle of summer break?

Use Custody X Change to plug your judgment into a calendar you can edit, share and print so you'll never have to wonder whether you're following the schedule correctly.

With the Custody X Change online app, you can combine schedules for the school year, summer break and holidays into one calendar.

You can even track how well judgments are being followed with our parenting time tracker and parenting journal.

Custody X Change has all the tools you need to set your new parenting arrangement up for success.

Custody X Change creates customizable parenting plans to include in your court judgment.

Make My Québec Plan Now

Custody X Change creates customizable parenting plans to include in your court judgment.

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Custody X Change creates customizable parenting plans to include in your court judgment.

Make My Québec Plan Now

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