How Do I Reply to a Priority Parenting Matter Application in the Provincial Court?

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Replying to the application[edit]

The process for dealing with priority parenting matter applications is different from how you respond to regular applications for family law orders in Provincial Court. Things happen much quicker, so you need to watch your time.

The person making an priority parenting matter application, the applicant, will probably serve you with their Form 15 Application About Priority Parenting Matter at least seven days before the date of the hearing. They will also serve other documents that they will use at the hearing. The hearing date will likely have been fixed by the court registry, not by the applicant. It's possible that the applicant may be serving you with fewer than seven days notice if they had obtained permission from the court to have the matter heard on short leave, in which case your time to prepare could be even less.

There is no document that you must file to reply to the application, but you can respond using the Form 19 Written Response to Application. Form 19 is available online. See the Legal Aid BC's helpful list of Provincial Court forms. Also, you should look into the relatively new Apply for a Family Law Act Order tool from the BC Government, which is not only for applicants, but application respondents too. This tool helps you prepare documents online, and it can save you time.

Whether you file a written response or not, you must show up on the date set for the hearing or the court may make the order sought by the applicant. Make sure that you bring any important documents with you that will help at the hearing of the application.

The rules[edit]

Consult the Provincial Court Family Rules:

  • Rule 75-79: applications for priority parenting matters
  • Rule 171-175: affidavits

More information about priority parenting matters[edit]

For more information about the steps you need to take to respond to a priority parenting matter application, look into Legal Aid BC's Family Law website's practical guide on this topic. If do consult the Legal Aid BC guide, remember that the form you are responding to is Form 15 (since the guide covers a few other kinds of applications).

Read How Do I Make a Priority Parenting Matter Application in the Provincial Court?, which is another Helpful Guides and Common Questions page in this section. That page explains what an applicant needs to think about, but it also discusses:

  • What are priority parenting matters, and what are not.
  • How priority parenting matters are different from ordinary applications for a family law order using Form 3.
This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Matthew Ostrow, September 19, 2023.

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