How Do I Make an Interim Application in a Family Law Matter in the Supreme Court?

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When to make an application

In a genuine emergency, you can make an application any time after a Notice of Family Claim has been filed, with no notice or very little notice given to the other side.

In most other cases, you will have to wait until a judicial case conference (JCC) has been heard, although Rule 7-1 has a list of exceptions to this general rule.

Once there a JCC has been held, however, applications can be brought at any time.

How to start the application process

The first court forms you'll need are:

  1. a Notice of Application (Form F31), and
  2. an Affidavit (Form F30).

The forms are available online. See the Supreme Court Forms section.

The Notice of Application tells the court and the other side:

  • when you want the application heard,
  • the orders that you want the court to make,
  • the basic facts supporting your application,
  • a summary of your argument in support of your application,
  • the rules, acts or regulations that you say allow the court to make the orders you're asking for, and
  • the affidavits you'll be relying on when you argue the application.

The affidavit explains who you are, the orders you want the court to make, and why you want the court to make those orders. Your affidavit contains the evidence you will be relying on in support of your application.

When you're ready to go, you must file your Notice of Application and affidavit in court and serve a copy of the filed documents on the other side, the application respondent, by ordinary service. Ordinary service is accomplished by mailing the documents to the other side's address for service, by faxing them to a fax number for service, or by emailing them to an email address for service.

You must serve your materials on the application respondent at least eight business days before the hearing date.

The application respondent's reply

In most cases, the application respondent will have five business days to reply to your application by filing an Application Response in Form F32 and any affidavits that the application respondent intends to use. An Application Response tells the court and the applicant:

  • the orders that the application respondent agrees to,
  • the orders that the application respondent intends to oppose,
  • the orders that the application respondent might agree to if certain conditions are met,
  • the basic facts against the application,
  • a summary of the application respondent's argument against the application, and
  • the affidavits the application respondent will be relying on when the application is argued.

Although Rule 10-6, the rule that explains how interim applications are brought, says that someone who doesn't file an Application Response isn't entitled to notice of when the application will be heard, do not expect that the court will simply let your application go ahead in default of an Application Response. The court will want to give the other side every chance to defend your application.

Your reply to the application respondent's reply

If you wish to reply to something the application respondent has said in their affidavit, you can make a new affidavit of your own. You must deliver this affidavit to the application respondent by 4:00pm on the business day that is one full business day before the hearing.

Application records

You must prepare an Application Record for the hearing of your application. An Application Record is a three-ring binder that contains all of the application materials, with an index and separated by tabs. The Application Record is for the benefit of the judge or master hearing your application, so prepare it as neatly and carefully as you can; the judge will appreciate the effort.

Application Records will usually contain the following documents in the following order:

  1. an index,
  2. your Notice of Application,
  3. the Application Response,
  4. your affidavits,
  5. the application respondent's affidavits, and
  6. any new affidavit you have prepared in reply to the application respondent's affidavits.

You must file your Application Record by 4:00pm on the business day that is one full business day before the hearing. Make sure you provide a copy of your index to the application respondent at the same time.

The rules

  • Rule 6-2: How to serve documents by ordinary service
  • Rule 7-1: The JCC rules
  • Rule 10-4: The rule about affidavits
  • Rule 10-5: Directions for bringing interim applications
  • Rule 10-6: The usual application procedure

For more information

You can find a more complete discussion of the interim application process and the different timelines and deadlines in the chapter Resolving Family Law Problems in Court within the section Interim Applications in Family Matters.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Samantha Simpson, June 28, 2017.

Creativecommonssmall.png JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.
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