How Do I Make an Interim Application in a Family Law Matter in the Supreme Court?
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 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:
- a Notice of Application (Form F31), and
- 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 response
In most cases, the application respondent will have five business days to respond 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 which oppose the applicant's version of the facts,
- 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 likely want to give the other side every chance to defend against 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.
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:
- an index,
- your Notice of Application,
- the Application Response,
- your affidavits,
- the application respondent's affidavits, and
- 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.
- 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 Shannon Aldinger, June 9, 2019.|
|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.|
Normally referred to as the "Supreme Court of British Columbia," this court hears most court proceedings in this province. The Supreme Court is a court of inherent jurisdiction and is subject to no limits on the sorts of claims it can hear or on the sorts of orders it can make. Decisions of the Provincial Court are appealed to the Supreme Court; decisions of the Supreme Court are appealed to the Court of Appeal. See "Court of Appeal," "jurisdiction," "Provincial Court," and "Supreme Court of Canada."
A court established and staffed by the provincial government, which includes Small Claims Court, Youth Court, and Family Court. The Provincial Court is the lowest level of court in British Columbia and is restricted in the sorts of matters it can deal with. It is, however, the most accessible of the two trial courts and no fees are charged to begin or defend a family court proceeding. The Family Court of the Provincial Court cannot deal with the division of family property or matters under the Divorce Act. See "judge" and "jurisdiction."
A mandatory direction of the court, binding and enforceable upon the parties to a court proceeding. An "interim order" is a temporary order made following the hearing of an interim application. A "final order" is a permanent order, made following the trial of the court proceeding or the parties' settlement, following which the only recourse open to a dissatisfied party is to appeal. See "appeal," "consent order," "decision," and "declaration."
A request to the court that it make a specific order, usually on an interim or temporary basis, also called a "chambers application" or a "motion." See also "interim application" and "relief."
A legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules to begin a court proceeding, setting out the relief claimed by the claimant and the grounds on which that relief is claimed. See "action," "claim," "claimant," "pleadings" and "relief."
A legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules to bring an interim application, setting out the relief claimed by the applicant, the grounds on which that relief is claimed, and the date on which the application will be heard. See "applicant," "grounds," "interim application," and "relief."
In law, an attempt to persuade by logical reasoning. Usually refers to oral or written argument presented to a judge following the presentation of evidence, or to a written summary of argument.
A kind of legislation that provides supplemental rules for a particular act. Regulations are created and amended by the government, not by the legislature, and as a result the legislature has no right to a say in how or what regulations are imposed by government. See "act."
Facts or proof of facts presented to a judge at a hearing or trial. Evidence can be given through the oral testimony of witnesses, in writing as business records and other documents, or in the form of physical objects. Evidence must be admissible according to the rules of court and the rules of evidence. See "circumstantial evidence," "hearsay," and "testimony."
A party against whom an interim application has been brought. See also "applicant" and "interim application."
Sending legal documents to a party at that party's "address for service," usually by mail, fax, or email. Certain documents, like a Notice of Family Claim, must be served on the other party by personal service. Most other documents may be served by ordinary service. See also "address for service" and "personal service."
The address at which a party to a court proceeding agrees to accept delivery of legal documents. An address for service must be a proper street address within British Columbia; additional addresses for service may include postal addresses, fax numbers, and email addresses.
In law, to formally deliver documents to a person in a manner that complies with the applicable rules of court. Service may be ordinary (mailed or delivered to a litigant's address for service), personal (hand-delivered to a person), or substituted (performed in a way other than the rules normally require). See "address for delivery," "ordinary service," "personal service," and "substituted service."
A method of calculating time under which the days for a legal deadline are determined based on when the court is open for business, excluding weekends and holidays. See "calendar days" and "clear days."
In law, any proceeding before a judicial official to determine questions of law and questions of fact, including the hearing of an application and the hearing of a trial. See "decision" and "evidence."
A legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules to reply to a Notice of Application, which sets out the relief agreed to and opposed by the application respondent and the facts in support of that position. See "interim application."
A party who brings an application to the court for a specific order or remedy. Usually refers to the party making an interim application, but in the Provincial Court it also means the person who starts a court proceeding. See also "court proceeding," "application respondent," and "interim application."
In law, an answer or rebuttal to a claim made or a defence raised by the other party to a court proceeding or legal dispute. See "action," "claim," "defence," and "rebut."
A legal document in which a person provides evidence of certain facts and events in writing. The person making the affidavit, the deponent, must confirm the affidavit evidence is true by oath or affirmation. Affidavits must be signed in front of a lawyer, a notary public or a commissioner for taking oaths, who takes the oath or affirmation of the deponent. Affidavits are used as evidence, just as if the person making the affidavit had made the statements as a witness. See "deponent", "affirm" and "witness."
A person appointed by the federal or provincial government to manage and decide court proceedings in an impartial manner, independent of influence by the parties, the government, or agents of the government. The decisions of a judge are binding upon the parties to the proceeding, subject to appeal.
A provincially-appointed judicial official with limited jurisdiction, usually charged with making decisions before and after final judgment in a court proceeding, including the hearing of interim applications, the assessment of lawyers' bills, and the settling of bills of cost. See "interim application," "judge," and "jurisdiction."
An application, also called an "interlocutory application," made after the start of a court proceeding but before its conclusion, usually for temporary relief pending the final resolution of the proceeding at trial or by settlement. In family law, interim applications are useful to determine issues like where the children will live, who will pay child support, and whether spousal support should be paid on a rough and ready basis. See "application" and "interim order."