Separation and Divorce

Temporary Decisions About Child Custody and Child Support


Common-law couples who break up and don’t agree on child custody or child support might need a court decision right away. However, it can take months to get a trial date. This is why they can ask for a “safeguard order” in the meantime.

Custody means living arrangements and visiting rights regarding children. Common-law refers to couples who are not married.

Safeguard Order on Custody and Child Support

A safeguard order is a quick decision by a judge. The decision is good for up to six months, unless a judge decides to extend the time.

The judge bases the decision only on the documents the couple files in court and on their explanations (or their lawyers’ explanations) about what they have filed. Therefore, it is no court trial.

The judge can ask questions before making a decision. The decision will be based on what she has read or heard from the couple.