Rule 6: Service of documents tells you how to serve your partner and any other people or agencies you have to serve.
Documents can be served in 2 ways – by special service or by regular service. The Family Law Rules tell you which way you have to serve your documents at each step in the court process.
You can usually serve your partner yourself, or get a family member or friend who is at least 18 years old or a professional process server to do it for you.
To serve your documents by special service means you, a family member or friend who is at least 18 years old or a professional process server must do one of the following:
give a copy to your partner directly
leave a copy with your partner’s lawyer
mail a copy to your partner, but your partner must send back a special form to confirm they received the document
leave a copy in an envelope addressed to your partner at your partner’s home with any adult living with your partner, and then mail a copy of the documents to that address within one day
Special service is usually used for documents that start the case or documents that could lead to the person being served going to jail.
To serve your documents by regular service means you, a family member or friend who is at least 18 years old or a professional process server, must do one of the following:
mail a copy to your partner or their lawyer
courier a copy to your partner or their lawyer
fax a copy to your partner or their lawyer
- email a copy to your partner or their lawyer
serve a copy by special service
The following documents can only be served by special service:
a motion to change
a summons to witness
- a notice of contempt motion
a notice of motion or notice of default hearing where the person to be served faces a possibility of jail
6B: Affidavit of Service
After your documents are served, you, or whoever served the documents, must fill out Form 6B: Affidavit of Service. This can be done at the court counter, with the help of the court clerk.
Form 6B asks for:
the name of the person who served the documents
the name of the person or agency that was served
when the documents were served (day, month, and year)
where the documents were served (the complete address)
what documents were served (Application, Answer, Reply, notice of motion)
how the documents were served (in person, at place of residence, by regular mail, courier, fax, or email)
You must swear or affirm that the information in your form is true before you sign it. You do this in front of a notary public or commissioner for taking affidavits. This person also signs and dates the form.
You can be charged with committing a crime if you don't tell the truth.
You can find a commissioner at any family court and they will sign your form for free. You can also find them at certain ServiceOntario centres. Other people can also do this, for example, a lawyer, notary public, judge, or paralegal. But they may charge you a fee.
Form 6B proves that your partner got a copy of your documents and knows that they have to respond to them.
More information on serving documents can be found in the Ministry of Attorney General’s A Guide to Family Procedures, Part 6: Serving Documents.
If you fear for your safety or the safety of any friend or family member when serving documents, you can ask the court staff to arrange for your documents to be served.