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How Do I Respond to a Family Law Action in the Provincial Court?

Once you have been served with the applicant's Application to Obtain an Order, you have 30 days to file a form called a Reply. The Reply is available at the provincial court registry or online (see the Provincial Court Forms section), although a copy may have been delivered with the Application to Obtain an Order.

You must file your Reply at the same court registry the Application to Obtain an Order was filed, and you can tell which registry this is by looking at the box at the upper right-hand corner of the form. There are no fees charged to file your Reply.

You have 30 days to file your Reply from the date you were served, not 30 days from the date the Application to Obtain an Order was filed in court.

When you fill out your Reply, you will be asked to say which parts of the Application to Obtain an Order you agree with and which you disagree with. The form can also be used to make a claim of your own against the applicant. You don't need to file an Application to Obtain an Order of your own.

After you have filed your Reply, the court may schedule a date for you to meet with a family justice counsellor and you may be required to attend a Parenting After Separation course, depending on which registry the application was filed. The registry will take care of scheduling your meeting with the family justice counsellor, but it's up to you to arrange for the Parenting After Separation course.

If the applicant is making a claim for child support or spousal support, you will also have to fill out and file a Financial Statement. If such a claim is being made, you will normally be given a blank Financial Statement at the same time you are served with the Application to Obtain an Order.

For more informationEdit

You can find a lot more information about this in the chapter Resolving Family Law Problems in Court within the section Replying to a Court Proceeding in a Family Matter.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Thomas Wallwork, May 9, 2017.

  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.