Are you in the process of getting a divorce, and feel that certain issues need to be resolved very quickly by the Court? We’re here to help.
While many questions can be answered with the help of the guides, sample letters and forms in our legal toolkit, an independent jurist affiliated with PSP Legal will always be happy to help you by answering any questions you may have.
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner take charge of your situation and intervene directly and quickly on your behalf, you can also request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal represent you by clicking here.
What is a safeguard order?
An application for a safeguard order may be filed with the Superior Court of the appropriate judicial district by a person who is unable to reach an agreement with his or her spouse, and who is currently divorcing. Both spouses must be unable to agree on a matter relating to the Civil Code of Québec or the Divorce Act. In addition, the matter must be urgent, i.e. it cannot wait until the time of provisional measures, if applicable, or the instruction on the divorce fund and accessory measures.
The safeguard order is a temporary decision issued by the judge. It is valid for a maximum of six months. However, it should be noted that the judge may decide to extend it if a request is made. The application for a safeguard order must demonstrate the urgent need for a judgment based on the facts set out in the application. The safeguard order may deal with a variety of issues, but is generally aimed at resolving questions relating to child custody, child support and the use of the family residence.
The safeguard order and provisional measures
The difference between the safeguard order and provisional measures is the urgency of the situation. The safeguard order is filed when it is inconceivable to wait for the hearing on provisional measures to decide an issue, or when there is simply no request for provisional measures. The judge’s decision on the safeguard order will therefore apply until the hearing for provisional measures, or the hearing on the merits for divorce.
The application for a safeguard order may be served at the same time as the divorce application. The request for a safeguard order must be accompanied by the affidavit of the person making the request. Because of the urgency of the safeguard order application, the parties will proceed quickly before the judge, i.e. within a few days of service of the various documents. As a general rule, the parties will not be able to testify in court. The person served with the safeguard order application and the accompanying affidavit may in turn file an affidavit of less than two pages, in which he or she may respond to the opposing party’s allegations and indicate the conclusions he or she is seeking. The person requesting the safeguard order may reply with a second affidavit.
Finally, the arguments of the parties or their attorneys must be limited to the facts alleged in the affidavits. Although each affidavit is limited to two pages, it must be clear, precise and probative.
The effect of the judgment
As mentioned above, the safeguard order will generally be valid for a maximum of six months. During the hearing for provisional measures, the judge will not be bound by the judgment handed down following the application for a safeguard order. The same principle applies to the hearing on the merits of the divorce; the judge is not bound by the judgments handed down in the safeguard order or for provisional measures. He can therefore render a completely different judgment if he sees fit.
How we can help
Our legal toolkit includes a variety of online resources and links to templates and guides to help you better understand your obligations.
However, should the Legal Toolkit prove insufficient in your situation, you can obtain additional assistance by speaking with one of PSP Legal’s affiliated jurists:
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner handle your situation, you can always request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal intervene on your behalf by clicking here. He or she will then be able to intervene directly and rapidly on your behalf by:
- Preparing, negotiating and drafting applications, procedures or any other legal documents related to your situation;
- Assisting and advising you on your legal rights and obligations;
- Representing you before the courts when legal action is taken;
- Guiding you through the choices available to you, leading to a fair and satisfactory solution.
PSP Legal, because you deserve expert advice!
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