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Get your consent order

You can bring a motion on consent at any time, even before a case conference.

If you and your partner agree on what you’re asking for in the motion, you have to first make a written agreement. This written document is called a consent or minutes of settlement. In it, you list the orders you agree on.

Next, you can ask the court to put your agreement into a temporary court order, called a consent order. To do this you or your partner fill out:

  • Form 14B: Motion Form, where you list the orders you want the court to make. Attach the consent or any minutes of settlement showing what you and your partner agree to.
  • Form 25: Order, where you list the orders you're asking the judge to sign.
  • Stamped envelopes addressed to you and your partner if you want your order mailed to you. Otherwise you can pick it up from the court or have it faxed to you.

You may also need to fill out:

You need to call the court or go to the courthouse to ask the court clerk for a date when the judge will hear your motion. You write this date on your Form 14: Notice of Motion.

Make copies of your completed documents for you and your partner.

You must serve your partner with a copy of the documents at least 4 days before the date of your motion. You serve your partner by regular service or special service. Serve your documents below explains how to do this.

See Count time below to understand how to calculate days or time correctly. This is important because court staff may not accept your documents if you haven't followed the rules.

You need to go back to the courthouse once your partner has been served to file your documents and Form 6B: Affidavit of Service in your Continuing Record. Update your continuing record below explains how to add documents in your court file.

If you and your partner agree, your partner does not have to file a response.

Within 4 days of your partner being served, the court makes a decision after looking only at your documents. This includes the consent agreement or minutes of settlement that you and your partner agreed on.

Because you and your partner both agree to the order, the court clerk gives your documents to the judge. The judge reviews your documents and makes an order.

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. An endorsement is the written directions a judge gives you and your partner that says what you must do or not do.

Count time

Rule 3: Time tells you how to count time or days.

You must follow court rules that say the day by which you have to:

  • serve your partner, or other people or agencies, with your documents
  • file your documents with the court
  • confirm your court dates

When you serve your documents, counting starts on the day after the “effective” service day. The effective service day depends on how you served the documents. If you served them:

  • in person - service is effective the same day
  • by mail - service is effective 5 days after the documents are mailed
  • by same day courier - service is effective the day after the courier picks it up
  • by next day courier - service is effective two days after the courier picks it up
  • by fax - service is effective the day it's faxed as long as it's faxed before 4 p.m. on a day when the court is open
  • at your partner’s home with anyone who seems to be an adult and then mailed to that address - service is effective 5 days after the documents are mailed

For example, suppose you have 7 days to serve your documents. If you serve them personally on Monday, the first day you count is Tuesday and the 7th day is the following Monday.

If the last day is a holiday, the time period ends on the next day that is not a holiday.

But if you have less than 7 days to serve or file your documents or to confirm your court date, then Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays when court offices are closed are not counted.

Counting time or days is important because court staff won’t accept your documents if you haven't followed the rules.

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
  • 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, or fax)

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.

Update your continuing record

Rule 9: Continuing Record tells you what a continuing record is and what documents you put into it.

The continuing record has every document you and your partner want the court to look at. It’s is kept in the court file at the courthouse.

The continuing record has 2 parts:

  1. The endorsement volume has all the endorsements and court orders a judge makes in your case.
  2. The documents volume has all the documents filed in your case by you and your partner. This includes Applications, Answers, Replies, affidavits of service, financial statements, motions, affidavits, and trial management conference briefs. It does not include the case conference brief or the settlement conference brief.
  3. If you’re the applicant, you start the continuing record and keep adding your documents to it. If you don’t have a lawyer, court staff can help you start it and help you add your documents to it.

    If you’re the respondent you add your documents to the continuing record your partner started. If you don’t have a lawyer, court staff can help you add your documents to it.

    When you add a document to the continuing record, you also have to update the table of contents by listing each document you’re filing.

    Make sure you keep a copy of every document you and your partner fill out. This allows you to keep track of your case yourself. You won’t have to go to the court to ask the court clerk to get your court file if you need to check something. More information on the continuing record can be found in the Ministry of Attorney General’s A Guide to Family Procedures, Part 5: Filing Documents.