Difference between revisions of "How Do I Start a Family Law Action in the Provincial Court?"

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Starting an action in the Provincial Court is fairly straightfoward. Essentially, you have to fill out a document called an Application to Obtain an Order and file it in the registry of the court closest to you. There are no filing fees, and the court will tell you how to go about serving the other side.
 
  
You can get a copy of the Application to Obtain an Order from the court registry for free. The forms are also available online; see the link in the Resources & Links section of this website. The version of the form that you can get from the court registry includes lots of information about how to fill it out, and it really is quite straightfoward.
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Starting a court proceeding  in the Provincial Court is fairly straightforward. Essentially, you have to fill out a document called an Application to Obtain an Order and file it in the registry of the court closest to you. There are no filing fees, and the court will tell you how to go about serving the other side.
  
If you are making a claim for spousal support or child support, you will also have to fill out a form called a Financial Statement. The court registry will provide you with this form. Again, the form is fairly easy to fill out, however, there are certain documents you must gather and attach to the form, including your last three years' worth of tax returns, your most recent paystub, and so forth.
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You can get a copy of the Application to Obtain an Order from the court registry for free. The forms are also available online; see ______ page of this wiki. The version of the form that you can get from the court registry includes lots of information about how to fill it out.
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If you are making a claim for ''spousal support'' or ''child support'', you'll also have to fill out a form called a Financial Statement. The court registry will provide you with this form. Again, the form is fairly easy to fill out, however, there are certain documents you must gather and attach to the form, including your last three years' worth of tax returns, your most recent paystub, and so forth.
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If you are making a claim for ''guardianship'' of a child, you will also have to fill out a special affidavit in Form 34, and provide copies of recent police and Ministry for Children and Family Development records checks.
  
 
==When to Use the Provincial Court==
 
==When to Use the Provincial Court==
  
You should use the Provincial (Family) Court when the issues involve any of the following:
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The authority of the Provincial Court is limited and it can only deal with certain issues. You should use the Provincial Court when the things you need to deal with involve any of the following:
  
#custody and guardianship of children;
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#guardianship of children;
#access to children;
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#parenting arrangements for children;
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#contact with a child
 
#child support;
 
#child support;
 
#spousal support; and,
 
#spousal support; and,
#personal restraining orders against the other party.
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#protection orders.
  
 
==When Not to Use the Provincial Court==
 
==When Not to Use the Provincial Court==
  
The Provincial (Family) Court cannot deal with issues involving assets or debts, nor can the court make divorce orders. Remember too that the Provincial (Family) Court can only deal with claims made under the provincial Family Relations Act.
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The Provincial Court cannot deal with issues involving property or debts. The Provincial Court cannot make orders under the ''Divorce Act'', including divorce orders. If you need orders about property, debt or divorce, you might think about starting your court proceeding in the Supreme Court which can deal with all of these issues and all of the issues that the Provincial Court can deal with.
  
 
==What Happens Next?==
 
==What Happens Next?==
  
Once you've filed your application, you or the court will serve it on the other person. Once the other person has been served, he or she will have 30 days to file a form called a Reply, and, if you are making a claim for spousal support or child support, his or her Financial Statement as well. The court will mail you a copy of these documents.
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Once you've filed your Application to Obtain an Order, you'll have to have it served on the other person and get your process server to complete an Affidavit of Service. Once the other person has been served, he or she will have 30 days to file a form called a Reply, and, if either of you are making a claim for spousal support or child support, his or her Financial Statement as well. The court will mail you a copy of these documents.
  
When the court received the other person's Reply, the court will normally set up an appointment for you to meet with a Family Justice Counsellor or schedule a date for an initial meeting with the court, called a first appearance. The Family Justice Counsellor's job is to see what sort of out-of-court options might be appropriate for you and the other person, like mediation. The Counsellor can also prepare consent orders, that is, an order that you and the other person both agree the court should make.
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When the court received the other person's Reply, the court will normally set up an appointment for you to meet with a Family Justice Counsellor or schedule a date for an initial meeting with the court, called a first appearance. The Family Justice Counsellor's job is to see whether any of your issues can be resolved, to give you information about the law and other dispute resolutions and to try, if you're interested, to mediate your dispute. The Family Justice Counsellor can also prepare consent orders, that is, an order that you and the other person both agree the court should make.
  
 
If you are unable to reach an agreement after seeing the Family Justice Counsellor, you can ask to be referred to a judge for a hearing of the issues. The court registry will book a time for the hearing and send a notice of the hearing to you and the other side.
 
If you are unable to reach an agreement after seeing the Family Justice Counsellor, you can ask to be referred to a judge for a hearing of the issues. The court registry will book a time for the hearing and send a notice of the hearing to you and the other side.
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{{JP Boyd on Family Law Navbox|type=how}}
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[[Category:How Do I? (Family Law)]]

Revision as of 21:15, 24 March 2013



Starting a court proceeding in the Provincial Court is fairly straightforward. Essentially, you have to fill out a document called an Application to Obtain an Order and file it in the registry of the court closest to you. There are no filing fees, and the court will tell you how to go about serving the other side.

You can get a copy of the Application to Obtain an Order from the court registry for free. The forms are also available online; see ______ page of this wiki. The version of the form that you can get from the court registry includes lots of information about how to fill it out.

If you are making a claim for spousal support or child support, you'll also have to fill out a form called a Financial Statement. The court registry will provide you with this form. Again, the form is fairly easy to fill out, however, there are certain documents you must gather and attach to the form, including your last three years' worth of tax returns, your most recent paystub, and so forth.

If you are making a claim for guardianship of a child, you will also have to fill out a special affidavit in Form 34, and provide copies of recent police and Ministry for Children and Family Development records checks.

When to Use the Provincial Court[edit]

The authority of the Provincial Court is limited and it can only deal with certain issues. You should use the Provincial Court when the things you need to deal with involve any of the following:

  1. guardianship of children;
  2. parenting arrangements for children;
  3. contact with a child
  4. child support;
  5. spousal support; and,
  6. protection orders.

When Not to Use the Provincial Court[edit]

The Provincial Court cannot deal with issues involving property or debts. The Provincial Court cannot make orders under the Divorce Act, including divorce orders. If you need orders about property, debt or divorce, you might think about starting your court proceeding in the Supreme Court which can deal with all of these issues and all of the issues that the Provincial Court can deal with.

What Happens Next?[edit]

Once you've filed your Application to Obtain an Order, you'll have to have it served on the other person and get your process server to complete an Affidavit of Service. Once the other person has been served, he or she will have 30 days to file a form called a Reply, and, if either of you are making a claim for spousal support or child support, his or her Financial Statement as well. The court will mail you a copy of these documents.

When the court received the other person's Reply, the court will normally set up an appointment for you to meet with a Family Justice Counsellor or schedule a date for an initial meeting with the court, called a first appearance. The Family Justice Counsellor's job is to see whether any of your issues can be resolved, to give you information about the law and other dispute resolutions and to try, if you're interested, to mediate your dispute. The Family Justice Counsellor can also prepare consent orders, that is, an order that you and the other person both agree the court should make.

If you are unable to reach an agreement after seeing the Family Justice Counsellor, you can ask to be referred to a judge for a hearing of the issues. The court registry will book a time for the hearing and send a notice of the hearing to you and the other side.

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