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Prepare your Application

To start a court case, you must fill out a number of court forms and give them to your partner.

You can get these family law court forms from the court or online. They are available in French and English.

The main form you fill out is Form 8: Application. In it, you:

  • give basic information about your family, such as your name, date of birth, and address, and those of your partner and your children
  • the history of your relationship with your partner
  • check off the issues you're asking the judge to help you with
  • list the orders you're asking the judge to make
  • give facts and reasons for each order you're asking for

You may need to fill out other forms depending on what you’re asking for.

Support and dividing property

If you're asking for child support, spousal support, or to divide property, you must also fill out a financial statement. Rule 13: Financial Disclosure tells you the financial information and other documents you have to give.

But, if the amount of child support you're asking for matches the amount you would get according to the Child Support Guidelines and child support tables, you don't have to fill out a financial statement. This amount is known as the "table amount".

The Government of Canada's child support tables show basic monthly amounts of child support. Child support is based on:

1. the gross income of the parent paying support, which means income before taxes are paid, and

2. the number of children entitled to support.

There is a separate table for each province and territory.

There are 2 financial statement forms. Fill out the one that applies to your situation.

1. Form 13: Financial Statement (Support Claims): Use this form if you or your partner are asking only for child support, spousal support, or both child support and spousal support. Don't use it if you need to divide property and debts.

2. Form 13.1: Financial Statement (Property and Support Claims): Use this form if you, or your partner, are asking to divide property and debts. You and your partner may also be asking for support.

You also have to fill out Form 13A: Certificate of Financial Disclosure. In it, you list all the documents that support the information you gave in your financial statement. You have to give copies of these documents. This form must be filed with the court either before or with your case conference materials.

This can include copies of your pay stubs, recent tax returns, and notices of assessment. If you don't have a copy of your notices of assessment, you can get a copy of your income and deductions statement from Canada Revenue Agency by calling 1-800-959-8281.

If you're asking for child support that is more than the table amount that applies to you, you need to give proof of your additional expenses. This can include receipts for special or extraordinary expenses such as daycare or extracurricular activities like sports or music lessons.

If you're asking for child support or spousal support, you also need to fill out a:

If you get an order for support, these forms are sent to the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).

The FRO is a government agency that collects support payments from the person who has to pay them, sends the payments to the person who has to get it, and makes sure child support and spousal support payments are made.

If your partner misses payments, the FRO can take action to enforce the order or agreement. For example, if your partner doesn't pay support, the FRO can order their employer to deduct money from their wages, suspend their driver's licence, or start a court case that can result in jail time.


Decision-making responsibility and parenting time

If you, or your partner, are asking for decision-making responsibility for and parenting time with your children, you need to fill out Form 35.1: Affidavit (decision-making responsibility, parenting time, contact). Decision-making responsibility and parenting time used to be called custody and access.

This form asks some personal questions about your family situation before you separated. For example, you have to answer questions about family violence, whether a Children's Aid Society is or was involved with your family, and who looks after your children most of the time.

You also have to give some information about what your parenting plans will be now that you and your partner have separated. For example, who will take care of the children while you're at work or school, where they will go to school, and if anyone else is living with you.