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You and your partner agree on changes to child support and other things

If you and your partner agree to change or end a final order for something that is not about just child support, you need to fill out:

If your child support or spousal support payments go through a social services agency, such as Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you may have to serve the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Serve your documents on the Ministry of Community and Social Services below explains how to do this.

You must file your completed documents at the court. You can file your documents with the court online or in person. File your court forms and documents below explains how to do this.After your documents have been filed, the court clerk gives them to a judge to review and make an order.

Usually you and your partner don’t need to appear in person before the judge. This is because you and your partner both agree to the changes.

The court clerk sends a certified copy of the signed order to you and your partner in the stamped envelopes you provided. They can also fax it to you, or call you to pick it up, if that’s what you prefer.

If the judge has questions for you or your partner, the court clerk will contact you with a court date or provide you with a copy of the judge’s endorsement that sets out any other steps you or your partner have to take.

File your court forms and documents

Rule 1.1 tells you how to file and issue your family law court forms and documents online. You can file your documents online or in person at the court. Depending on your family law issue and the court, you might also be able to file by email. Check the Family Law Rules and the court's orders, Notices and Practice Directions. Or call the court for more information.

Rule 1.2 says before you file your documents, you must remove or black out all financial account numbers and certain personal information, such as:

  • social insurance numbers
  • bank account numbers
  • credit card numbers
  • account numbers for mortgages, lines of credit, and other loans

You must keep the original documents that show this information.

A judge might ask to see it.

File online

You can now file most family law forms and supporting documents online for a family court case in the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice. But you cannot file forms and documents online:

  • to request an urgent hearing
  • for a court date that's 5 business days or less away
  • to meet a filing deadline that's 5 business days or less away

To file online, your court forms and supporting documents must be filled out, signed, and dated. Some forms and documents may need to be sworn or affirmed. If they do, it means 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.

Your forms and documents must then be scanned and saved as PDF documents.

If your documents are not in English or French, you need a certified translation. This must also be scanned and saved as a PDF. You can find a translator through the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario.

To file your court forms and supporting documents online, go to ontario.ca/familyclaims. You will need a ONe-key ID. To create this key you need an email address and have to set up a username and password.

Make sure you have everything ready before you start filing online. Once you've started, your session ends if you're inactive for 15 minutes. Your information won't be saved. You will need to start over again.

After you submit your court forms and documents online, you cannot view them online later. So it's important to keep a copy of everything for your records.

You must also pay your court fees online. If you can't afford to pay the court fees, you can ask for a fee waiver certificate online so that you don't have to pay most court fees.

See the question ‘How do I file court forms for my family law case online’ on Steps to Justice for more information.

Court response

After you file your forms and documents online, you get an email to confirm that your documents have been submitted, but not yet filed with the court. Don't delete the email. You should also print a copy or take a screenshot for your records.

Within 5 business days you find out if your documents have been accepted or rejected. If your documents are:

  • accepted, you get an email confirming your documents have been filed
  • rejected, you get an email saying your documents haven't been filed, the reasons why they were rejected, and that any fees you paid will be refunded

If your documents are rejected, you can either:

  • correct or fix all the things that led to your documents being rejected and then refile online if the deadline to submit them is more than 5 business days away, or
  • file your documents in-person or, if allowed by the court, by email

If you don't hear from the court within 5 days, check with them to make sure your documents were submitted successfully.

If you have any questions about your specific case, call the family court in your municipality.

File in person

If you're not allowed to, or don't want to file your documents online, you can file them in person at the courthouse. To submit in person, take 3 copies of your court forms and documents to court.

If you're not which court to go to, you can call the family court in your municipality to ask.

Serve your documents

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.

Special service

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.

Regular Service

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:

  • an Application
  • 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.

Safety issues

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.

Serve your documents on the Ministry of Community and Social Services

If your child support or spousal support payments go through a social services agency, such as Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), it means your support is paid or assigned to the agency. The social service agency is called the assignee. Your support payments go directly to OW or ODSP, and they pay you the full amount of social assistance even when support is not paid.

If this is your situation, you must include the agency in the court process and in any agreements you make to change your support order.

If you don't serve the agency or get its consent, the agency can ask the court to set aside the new order that you get. This means the court says the new order shouldn't be followed. The court can also order costs against you. This means that you may have to pay some of the agency’s costs for asking the court to set aside the order.

To find out if your support is assigned, fill out a Confirmation of Assignment form and fax or mail it to the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Your form is processed within 3 working days, then mailed or faxed back to you. If your support order is assigned, it will tell you which agency has to be served.

You serve your documents on an agency the same way you serve your partner. See Serve your documents to learn how to do this.