Notice Governing the Conduct of Family Law Cases in the Superior Court of Justice
The Family Law Information Centre
- The Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) is the first point of assistance for all family law matters. It is open from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm Monday-Friday and is located on the 9th floor at 393 University Ave, Toronto. Court staff will assist all persons in accessing the following services:
- Information and Referral Coordinator (IRC):
(a) The IRC is a trained resource professional whose function is, along with the court staff and the on-site mediators, to provide family justice system information and referrals. The IRC provides front-end assistance about the procedural options, community and legal resources and supports available for separating families in Toronto.
(b) The IRC is available daily from 8:30 am – 5 pm to meet confidentially for up to 20 minutes.
(c) The IRC works with court staff, duty and advice counsel, Dispute Resolution Officers (DROs), the on-site mediator and the family court support workers to assist parties who are unrepresented by legal counsel or otherwise vulnerable.
- On-Site Mediation:
(a) Free family mediation is available from a neutral, accredited family mediator in the FLIC daily from 8:30 am – 5 pm to anyone who is in court attending a motion, DRO appointment, case or settlement conference, or trial appointment. Appointments are scheduled with the IRC.
(b) On-site mediation is intended for those matters that will benefit from up to two hours of time.
(c) Parties may be referred to mediation by a judge, the IRC, a DRO, counsel,
duty or advice counsel, court staff, another referring agency or individual or
the parties themselves.
(d) Parties may attend mediation without counsel; however counsel are encouraged to attend mediation with their clients.
(e) Where there are restraining orders, bail or peace bond conditions that limits contact between the parties, mediation cannot occur until those terms are changed to permit mediation, even if counsel or other supporters are present.
(f) Parties to a family court case may use the services of the on-site mediator as often as they wish, including parties who are scheduled for DRO attendances.
- Off-site mediation:
(a) All parties who reside in the greater Toronto area, whether they have a court case or not, may access up to (approximately) eight hours of subsidized off-site mediation, including (approximately) one hour each of confidential intake/screening meetings.
(b) Parties may be referred to off-site mediation by a judge, the IRC, a DRO, counsel, duty or advice counsel, court staff, another referring agency or individual or the parties themselves.
(c) Fees for off-site mediations are determined in accordance with a schedule set by the Ministry of the Attorney General and are based on each party’s income and number of dependants. No fees are charged for the initial intake/screening meetings.
(d) Off-site mediation takes place on the 20th floor of 393 University Ave. Parties must contact the service provider directly (email@example.com, or 416-593-5393) to schedule the date and time for off-site mediation sessions.
(e) Parties may utilize the services of the off-site mediator once for each issue in a matter.
(f) Parties may attend mediation without counsel; however counsel are encouraged to attend mediation with their clients.
(g) In cases where there are terms of a restraining order, bail provisions or peace bond provisions that prevent communication between the parties, either directly or indirectly, off-site mediation may not take place until those terms are varied to specifically permit mediation between the parties, even if counsel or other supporters are present.
- Advice counsel and motions duty counsel:
Lawyers providing advice counsel services and duty counsel (for motions) are available at no cost in the FLIC for consultations with qualified individuals seeking legal advice. The days, hours and terms of service can be obtained from the IRC or court staff in the FLIC.
- Family Court Support Program:
Family Court Support Professionals are available at no cost to all persons in court or in the process of going to court who are experiencing or have experienced family violence. The Schlifer Clinic provides these services which include safety planning, documenting abuse for court proceedings, assistance obtaining interpreters and legal advice, and connections with counseling and other services. Court staff or the IRC will provide further details about availability of this service.
Family Law Proceedings in the Superior Court of Justice – Toronto Region (393 University Avenue)
– The Family Court Office is situated on the 10th floor and proceedings take place in courtrooms situated on the 9th floor, including proceedings that are before a Dispute Resolution Officer. The Family Law Information Centre and Duty Counsel services are also located on the 9th floor.
– In addition to the Family Law Rules, litigants and counsel should refer to the Practice Direction Regarding Family Cases in the Superior Court of Justice Toronto Region for directions relating to family cases in Toronto
– For assistance scheduling court events, contact:
The Assistant Trial Coordinator (416) 327-6192 or (416) 314-8665 for regular motions, case conferences, settlement conferences and trial management conferences
The Trial Coordinator (416) 327-5548 for long motions, trials and appeals
– It is never appropriate to unilaterally communicate directly with a judge outside of the courtroom, whether by telephone, email, or letter, unless specifically directed to do so by the judge. Any communication with a judge that relates to a case and that takes place outside of the courtroom must only occur with the prior consent of both parties.
A. CONTINUING RECORD & ENDORSEMENT RECORD – Requirement to Ensure Up to Date
1. The party who initiates a case is responsible for preparing a single Continuing Record for the case, pursuant to Rule 9 of the Family Law Rules.
2. It is the responsibility of each party to ensure that documents are filed appropriately in the Continuing Record and that the Orders and Endorsements Record and the Table of Contents are fully up to date and correct prior to each event in the matter.
3. Upon filing material in the Continuing Record, each party should photocopy the Table of Contents and forward a copy of same to opposing counsel/party.
4. After receiving the updated Table of Contents, opposing parties shall ensure that the Table of Contents is correct.
Parties completing the Continuing Record should refer to the guidelines and templates at http://www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca/english/continuing_record
1. Each party to a motion or conference must file a Form 14C Confirmation or the parties may file one jointly, not later than 2 p.m. two business days before the date of the motion or conference.
2. It is expected that parties and counsel will have consulted with the other party prior to filing their Form 14C Confirmations, unless prohibited from doing so by court order or bail provisions or terms in a restraining order.
3. If a Form 14C Confirmation is not filed when required, the matter will not be placed on the event list. Failure to file a properly completed Form 14C may result in the proceeding not being dealt with and/or costs being ordered against the offending party.
4. The Form 14C Confirmation must specifically identify which materials (for both parties) the judge should review, including clear references to the specific volume, tab and page numbers. The Confirmation must also list the specific issues that are to be addressed in the conference instead of simply referring to “all issues”. If the Confirmation does not include this information, the judge may not read the materials, and the matter may not be heard. In such case, the matter will be adjourned or be moved to the end of the list to permit matters with a properly completed Form 14C to be heard first.
5. The Form 14C Confirmation must include an appropriate estimate for the time required by the party, the time required by the opposing party, and the total time for the motion or conference (including time for the judge to prepare an endorsement, where appropriate). Parties will be strictly held to the time stated on their Confirmation(s).
6. A party who has filed a confirmation of motion and later determines that the confirmation is no longer correct or all or part of the motion has been resolved, shall immediately send a revised Form 14C to the other party and the court.
C. CONFERENCES – GENERALLY
1. In accordance with Rule 17(1) of the Family Law Rules, in each case in which an Answer is filed, a judge shall conduct at least one conference.
2. In accordance with Rule 17(7) of the Family Law Rules, at any time on the direction of a judge, part or all of a case conference, settlement conference, and trial management conference may be combined.
3. Counsel and parties are expected to be prepared to commence the conference at the start time allotted to the case.
4. At a conference, a judge may make orders in accordance with Rule 17(8) of the Family Law Rules.
5. Conferences are an opportunity for resolution of all or part of the case with the assistance of a judge who might offer non-binding recommendations that cannot be shared or used before any other judge or in any manner by the parties.
6. Where resolution is not achieved, conferences are an opportunity to narrow issues, come to temporary agreements or orders. They are also an opportunity to establish what must be done in order to proceed to the next step in the case, including setting timelines for outstanding disclosure or other preliminary requirements.
7. Where the conference involves parties without a lawyer, the conference is recorded for the benefit and assistance of the judge but no transcript or request for the recording or transcript may be requested or available.
8. For conferences to be of most benefit and productive, parties and counsel should commence gathering and agreeing on the necessary disclosure as early as possible including:
i. documentation of income where either child or spousal support are to be resolved (see the Child Support Guidelines disclosure requirements and the information that is required for Spousal Support Advisory Guideline calculations);
ii. where there are property issues, a net family property statement and documentation of each item on the net family property statement to establish proof of all assets, debts, exclusions. This includes, where appropriate, pension valuations and valuation of real estate and any interest in a business. Do not wait for the conference to produce documentation or obtain the expert valuations that may be required;
iii. where there are children’s issues, proposals should be exchanged for a parenting schedule and whether mediation, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer or a Section 30 assessment (under the Children’s Law Reform Act) would be appropriate;
iv. The parties must include the Endorsement Record, as well as relevant portions of the Continuing Record if referred to in the Conference Brief.
1. Case Conferences
Case Conferences are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
1. A party seeking to schedule a Case Conference should call the Assistant Trial Coordinator (ATC) at (416) 327-6192 or (416) 314-8665. The Assistant Trial Coordinator’s voicemail advises which dates are available for booking.
2. After a party has identified a date based on those listed on the ATC’s voicemail, the party requesting the Conference must prepare a Notice of Case Conference and then attend at the Family Court Office on the 10th floor at 393 University Avenue to secure the date and file the notice.
3. The Applicant (or the party requesting the Case Conference) must file their materials including a Case Conference Brief and Updated Financial Statement no later than 7 days before the Conference. The other party must file their materials no less than 4 business days before the Conference.
4. On motions to change, in accordance with the “Practice Direction for the Dispute Resolution Officer Program”, first case conferences on motions to change are scheduled before a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO).
5. A DRO conference can be held on matters other than Motions to Change only as directed by the Court upon request by a 14B Motion Form or at another court event.
2. Settlement Conferences
Settlement Conferences are also held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
1. Parties must attend in person to book a Settlement Conference if one has not been booked at a previous case conference.
2. Once counsel/parties have identified and consented to a date, the party requesting the Settlement Conference will prepare the Notice of Settlement Conference, and then attend at the filing office with a copy of the Notice to secure the date and file the materials.
3. In accordance with the Family Law Rules, on a Settlement Conference, each party must file and serve the required materials including the Settlement Conference Brief (Form 17C) and an updated Financial Statement. The moving party must serve and file his or her materials 7 days prior; the responding party must serve and file his or her materials 4 business days prior. All materials must be filed by 2 p.m., 2 business days before the scheduled Conference.
4. Parties must confirm their attendance at the Settlement Conference by way of Form 14C Confirmation no later than 2 p.m. two business days before the scheduled Conference. The Form 14C Confirmation for the Settlement Conference should include reference to the relevant issues and the specific materials upon which each party intends to rely (including the relevant date of each document if multiple versions were filed).
5. Counsel (or parties if not represented) are expected to have discussed the issues that will be raised at the Settlement Conference prior to attending the conference and attempt to settle or narrow as many issues as possible.
6. A judge at a Settlement Conference may fix a date for a Trial Management Conference and dates for trial as per Rule 17(5)(g) and (h) of the Family Law Rules. If parties are seeking a trial date, they must be prepared to complete a Trial Scheduling Endorsement Form at the settlement conference:
Alternatively, a judge may fix a “speak to” date to discuss the status of the matter.
7. Conferences may occur by telephone conference if both parties consent and the same is confirmed with the court staff. If there is no consent, a request for a conference may be made by way of a Form 14B motion.
3. Trial Management Conferences (TMC)
1. If the trial date has not already been set, a judge will set the trial date at the TMC pursuant to Rule 17(6)(f).
2. If a judge has already assigned a trial date in a case, the TMC will be scheduled on a day during the week immediately prior to the commencement of the trial or earlier if ordered at the Settlement Conference. Prior to the TMC, the Family Court Office will call the parties or their counsel to confirm the date and time of the conference. The Trial Coordinator will schedule the time for the TMC directly with the parties or their counsel.
3. If a judge has not already assigned a trial date in a case, a TMC may be scheduled in the same manner as a Case Conference or a Settlement Conference.
4. For all Trial Management Conferences, parties must serve and file a Trial Management Conference Brief (Form 17E), which should include:
i. Copies of any agreements/documents that the judge should read to prepare for the conference;
ii. An outline of each party’s opening statement that includes:
– What he/she considers to be undisputed facts;
– The theory of the case on the disputed facts;
– A brief summary of the evidence he/she intends to present at trial;
– The draft order(s) he/she is asking the trial judge to make.
iii. A list of his/her witnesses, the topics about which each witness will testify and a time estimate for each witness’ testimony;
iv. Any agreed upon statement of facts; and
v. A list of all relevant orders in the matter.
5. If they haven’t previously done so, at the TMC parties should also have a completed Trial Scheduling Endorsement Form (https://mediate393.ca/forms/Trial-Scheduling-Endorsement-Form.doc), which sets out:
i. Any preliminary matters;
ii. Issues for trial;
iii. Whether amendments are needed to any pleadings;
iv. Whether Financial Statements need updating;
v. Any admissions by either party;
vi. Proposed exhibits (and a timetable for the exchange of any proposed exhibits);
vii. The order/presentation of evidence;
viii. Witness lists of both parties;
ix. Experts for both parties;
x. Children’s evidence;
xi. Red flags for scheduling or other purposes;
xii. Timetable for producing case books;
xiii. Information relating to any urgent issues;
xiv. Trial scheduling information.
D. TRIAL RECORDS – Requirements & Consequences of Failure to File
1. At least 30 days before the start of the Trial, the Applicant must serve and file a Trial Record containing:
i. A table of contents;
ii. Any agreed upon statement of facts;
iii. If relevant to an issue at trial: all Financial Statements and Net Family Property Statements by all parties, completed not more than 30 days before the record is served;
iv. If the trial involves a claim for custody or access of a child: the applicable documents referred to in Rule 35.1
v. Any assessment report ordered by the court or obtained by consent of the parties;
vi. Any temporary order relating to a matter still in dispute;
vii. Any order relating to the trial;
viii. The relevant parts of any transcript on which the party intends to rely at trial.
2. Not later than 7 days before the start of the trial, a Respondent may serve, file and add to the Trial Record any document referred to in Rule 23(1) of the Family Law Rules that is not already in the Trial Record.
3. Failure to file a Trial Record within the specified timeframe will result in the matter being removed from the trial list, unless the Court directs otherwise.
1. Properly drafted Facta or Summaries of Argument are required on all motions, except for 14B motions or urgent motions that are brought without notice. The Case Conference Endorsement should always indicate that a factum is required on a motion.
2. If no factum is filed where required, the motion will not be placed on the list on the appointed day.
3. As per the “Practice Direction Regarding Often Cited Family Law Cases in Family Proceedings in the Superior Court of Justice in the Central West, Central South, North West, South West & Toronto Regions”, facta filed in family law proceedings in the Superior Court in Toronto need not include the authorities included on the list of “Often Cited Family Cases”. These cases are available in each courtroom on the 9th floor at 393 University Avenue (TBC).
4. A sample factum for use on a family law motion is available at:
2. Short & Long Motions
1. When indicating the time necessary for a motion, the time estimate should include the argument and reply as well as any cross motion brought by the opposing party.
2. Short Motions:
a. Short Motions take less than one hour.
b. Short Motions are scheduled by filing the motion at the Family Court Office pursuant to the timelines set out in the Family Law Rules.
c. Short Motions are heard every Tuesday and Thursday at the Superior Court of Justice in the Toronto Region at 393 University Avenue.
3. Long Motions:
a. Long Motions are those anticipated to take more than one hour.
b. Long Motions are scheduled by contacting the Trial Coordinator at 416-327-5548 to obtain available dates.
c. Long Motions require parties to submit either a letter or a Form 14C Confirmation indicating they consent to the date. These should be submitted by fax at 416-327-6137.
d. If the matter is urgent or not on consent, a request for a Long Motion may be made by filing a 14B Motion Form.
3. Emergency or Urgent Motions and/or Without Notice Motions
1. Emergency or Urgent Motions
a. An Emergency or Urgent Motion contemplates issues such as abduction, threats of harm, and dire financial harm. If any of these kinds of issues are present, a party may bring an urgent motion before a case conference is held, pursuant to Rule 14(4.2) of the Family Law Rules. Self-represented parties should attend the Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) or see Duty Counsel for direction and guidance on whether or not their matter meets the test for urgency. For information on how to contact the FLIC.
b. For Emergency or Urgent Motions, parties must prepare all the same materials as with a regular Motion, except a Form 14C Confirmation.
c. Before the Emergency or Urgent Motion is put before a judge, parties must attend the Family Court Office on the 10th floor by 9:30 a.m. to file the motion materials and advise the Assistant Trial Coordinator (ATC) that the matter is urgent and must be heard that day. The ATC will advise a judge, and if the judge determines that the matter is urgent, the ATC will pull the file for and the parties and direct them to a courtroom where the matter will be addressed by the presiding judge.
d. When bringing an Emergency or Urgent Motion, parties should be prepared to advise the Court of the following information:
i. The earliest date available for a case conference, and why the matter cannot wait until after the conference is heard; and
ii. Any efforts undertaken to try to resolve the matter prior to having brought an Emergency or Urgent Motion.
e. Failure to provide the above information will make it impossible for the court to determine whether there is, in fact, any urgency, and may result in the matter not being heard.
2. Without Notice Motions
a. In general, parties are discouraged from bringing a motion without notice to the other party. Short notice is better than no notice.
b. If a motion brought without notice is also “urgent”, all sections of this Notice relating to an emergency/urgent motion apply, except a Factum or Summary of Argument is not required by the Court. Parties must set out in the materials and be prepared to speak to why the matter should proceed without notice.
c. If the judge determines that the matter is not urgent, parties should proceed as with a normal motion. A Case Conference will be required if one has not been completed before the motion.
d. Parties are reminded that the relief obtained on a motion without notice is temporary in nature, and the matter should be returnable relatively quickly in order to provide the other party with the opportunity to be served and respond.
4. Motions to Change (For Custody/Access, Ongoing Support and Arrears)
1. On motions to change or if an Application includes a request to change an existing order, in accordance with the Practice Direction for the Dispute Resolution Officer Program in the Superior Court of Justice, first case conferences on motions to change are scheduled before a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO). Refer to the Practice Direction for additional information regarding the practice, procedures and schedule for the DRO Program.
2. DROs are located on the 9th floor at the Toronto Superior Court of Justice at 393 University Avenue.
3. The Motion to Change must contain the required documents as per Rule 15(5) of the Family Law Rules:
– Form 15: Motion to Change
– Form 15A: Change Information Form
4. In order to ensure the DRO can effectively deal with the case, the Motion to Change, or if an Application includes a request to change an order, should also contain the following documents:
– Order the party is seeking to change
– Judge’s Reasons from the Order the party is seeking to change
– A Form 13 Financial Statement
– Completed Confirmation of Assignment form
– Directors’ Statement of Arrears (from the Family Responsibility Office)
– Financial Information for the following time periods:
ii. Date of Order; and,
iii. Each year for which a financial change is alleged (including Tax Returns, Notices of Assessment and for self-employed individuals, officers, directors or a shareholder of companies the additional documents as required by Section 21 of the Child Support Guidelines).
5. All affected parties must be served with the motion materials (ie/ Assignees).
5. Form 14B Motions
1. Form 14B Motions (see Rule 14(10) are limited to procedural, uncomplicated or unopposed matters).
2. Examples of appropriate orders include:
a) Orders of either a procedural or substantive nature that are on consent, or unopposed;
b) A request for the appointment of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer;
c) Orders for financial or other disclosure, permission for oral questioning or other issues pertaining to discovery;
d) Enforcement of an order to provide information, produce a document or serve and file a financial statement or other document. Any other procedural order or direction needed to promote a meaningful case conference;
e) “uncomplicated” requests for substantive relief.
When filing this “over the counter/basket” motion, the following procedures are required:
a) The 14B Motion Form must be put into the Continuing Record and cannot be faxed to the court;
b) The Table of Contents in Continuing Record must be updated;
c) A draft Order should be provided with the Motion (4 copies required), and a copy of the draft Order should be attached at the appropriate place in the Endorsement Volume;
d) A 14B Endorsement sheet should be completed with full names of party and counsel and the court file number (https://mediate393.ca/forms/Judges-Endorsement-14B-Motion.doc)
e) A self-addressed and stamped envelope should be provided for each party for mailing of the order or endorsement made by the judge.
6. COMPENDIUMS ON LONG AND/OR COMPLEX MOTIONS
1. The Compendium contains documents essential to the hearing of the motion (including the Notice of Motion, Affidavits and Financial Statements, and excerpts from the evidence and the exhibits that will be referred to in the argument of the motion).
2. The Court considers the filing of the Compendium essential to the efficient preparation and effective argument of the long or complex motion both for the judiciary and counsel. Compendiums are highly recommended when the evidence relied upon is minimal compared to the court record. If the evidence in the compendium is almost as voluminous as the material filed, the Compendium is of no benefit.
3. The Compendium should be filed together with the Factum.
4. The Compendium should be indexed to permit the court to locate the documents referred to in the Factum.
5. Any extracts or transcripts, affidavits or exhibits included in a Compendium should include only as much material as is required to understand the context of the key portions of the extract.
6. Joint Compendiums may be filed together with the Respondent’s Factum.
F. HOW TO TAKE OUT AN ORDER – Rule 25
1. Drafting the Order
1. This section of the Notice applies to all orders made on motions and conferences, including those involving self-represented parties where the judge has not dispensed with requiring the self-represented party’s approval of the draft Order.
3. The draft Order is to be approved (including any revisions by the opposing party) within 10 days and returned to the originating counsel or party.
4. Once the draft Order is approved, the party having the order issued and entered should attend at the filing office with 3 clean copies of the draft Order if there is no support deduction order (“SDO”), and 4 clean copies of the Draft Order and 3 completed SDOs if there is a support deduction order, indicating the opposing party has approved it as to form and content. Once the Order is issued, the party responsible for having it issued should forward it to all parties in a timely manner.
5. For information about required terms in family court orders and the materials that should be submitted with an approved order, see Family Law Orders to Be Signed and Processed. (https://mediate393.ca/forms/Family-Law-Orders-to-be-signed-and-processed.docm)
6. If success on the motion is divided, parties should determine amongst themselves as to who should draft the Order.
2. Dispute Over Terms of the Order
1. If a party disagrees with the terms of the draft Order, the party must serve:
(1) a Notice Disputing Approval (Form 25E); ,
(2) a copy of the Order redrafted as proposed; and,
(3) notice of the time/date of a teleconference with the Coordinator, Family Law (at the Family Court office) to settle the Order.
This teleconference will be held within five (5) days after service of Form 25E.
2. If the Coordinator cannot settle the matter at the teleconference, the Coordinator will refer the matter to the presiding judge who made the Endorsement. The judge will then either (a) hold a further teleconference with the parties, or (b) direct the parties to appear in court to settle the Order.
3. Standard Clauses for Family Orders
1. Parties in all family law proceedings seeking an order are encouraged to use the Standard Clauses for Family Court Orders.
G. USE OF TECHNOLOGY
1. Counsel and parties should discuss the use of technology with opposing party as well as with the bench at case conferences prior to proceeding on complex and/or voluminous motions and trial.
2. Where the volume of the material is large or the motion is complex, the parties should consider the desirability of filing a copy of all the material in an electronic format. Counsel and parties should refer to the Toronto Region Commercial List e-Delivery Pilot Project Guidelines for Preparing and Delivering Electronic Documents.
H. HOW TO OBTAIN A DIVORCE – Rule 36
Step 1: Issue the Application
1. A party seeking a divorce should attend at Family Court Office on 10th floor of 393 University Ave. to have the completed Application for Divorce (Form 8A) issued.
2. A party seeking a divorce will require 3 copies of the Application. When completing the form, parties should ensure that the names of the parties in the Application match the names on the marriage certificate.
3. A party may file the original marriage certificate/certificate of registration or a certified copy with the Application. Alternatively, a party may wait and attach it to the Affidavit for Divorce. If the marriage took place in Ontario, and a copy of the marriage certificate must be ordered, it can be done through the Office of the Registrar General through their website or by calling Service Ontario at 1-800-461-2156 or (416) 325-8305.
4. The court clerk will provide a Registration of Divorce Proceedings form in order to obtain a Clearance Certificate from the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings. This may take up to 8 weeks to receive. Note: The Application cannot be considered by a judge until the Clearance Certificate has been received by the court.
Step 2: Serve the Application
1. The Application must be served on the opposing party unless it has been completed jointly by both parties.
2. All parties are reminded to review Rule 6 of the Family Law Rules to determine how a party may be served with the Application. Once the Application has been served on the Respondent, the Applicant must prepare and file an Affidavit of Service (Form 6B) with the Court.
Step 3: Affidavit for Divorce
1. If no Answer has been filed within 30 days (or within 60 days if served outside of Canada or the United States), the Applicant may proceed to file the Affidavit for Divorce (Form 36), the marriage certificate/certificate of registration (if not previously filed with the Application), three copies of the draft Order (Form 25A), a stamped envelope addressed to each party, and cash, cheque, or money order payable to the Minister of Finance to cover the filing fee.
2. The Affidavit must include the following information:
i. Confirmation that the information set out in the Application is correct;
ii. An explanation why no marriage certificate/registration certificate has been filed (if necessary), and information to prove the marriage;
iii. Proof of any previous divorce or death of a previous spouse, if applicable, unless the marriage took place in Canada; and,
iv. Information regarding any arrangements for the support of any children pursuant to s. 11(1)(b) of the Divorce Act, and financial information pursuant to s. 21 of the Child Support Guidelines.
3. If the divorce is filed jointly by the parties, they must each prepare an Affidavit for Divorce.
4. Note: In order to ensure the court has all of the information necessary to grant the divorce, any minutes of settlement/separation agreement should be attached as an exhibit to the Affidavit for Divorce, along with any prior court order or domestic contract dealing with support or property division, and any child support arrangements should be properly described to ensure they conform with the Child Support Guidelines, and a section 11(1)(b) of the Divorce Act.
Step 4: Clerk’s Certificate, Divorce Order, and Certificate for Divorce
1. After the Court receives the Clearance Certificate, and one full calendar year has passed since the date of separation, the clerk will prepare a Certificate (Form 36A), make sure the file is complete, and present the file to a judge for consideration. After reviewing the material, the judge may:
i. Grant the order as set out in the draft order;
ii. Have the clerk return the documents to the Applicant to make any corrections necessary;
iii. Grant the divorce with changes to the draft order; or
iv. Refuse to grant the divorce after giving the Applicant a chance to file additional material (or after coming to court to explain why the divorce should be granted without any change to the material).
2. The divorce order takes effect on the 31st day after the order was granted, at which point the Clerk may issue the Certificate of Divorce. The certificate can be obtained by attending at the court office with a copy of the Divorce Order and a draft Certificate of Divorce, or by sending the documents with a cheque or money order made payable to the Minister of Finance by mail along with a self-addressed envelope for return.