For more legal information, visit the CLEO website and Steps to Justice

Change font size:

Print page Expand all & print

File your separation agreement with the court

Once you and your partner make a separation agreement, you may choose to file it with the court.

You can do this at any time as long as your separation agreement hasn't been changed by a court order or by a new separation agreement.

Fill out Form 26B: Affidavit for Filing Domestic Contract or Paternity Agreement, and attach your current separation agreement to it.

You have to file Form 26B and your separation agreement at the Ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice. You cannot file your separation agreement at a Superior Court of Justice that doesn't have a Family Court branch.

You can file your documents with the court online or in person. File your court forms and documents below explains how to do this.

Some of the reasons to file your separation agreement with the court are so:

  • The court can enforce the support terms of your agreement. This means the court can order you and your partner to follow it.
  • A government agency, called the Family Responsibility Office can enforce support.

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.

If you want FRO to enforce your agreement, you have to first file your current separation agreement with the court as explained above. After the court confirms that your separation agreement has been filed, fill out FRO's Registration package to register your separation agreement with them.

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.