How can I file forms and documents in my family law case?
You can most family law forms and supporting documents:
- Online: The question How do I file court forms for my family law case online? explains how to use the online portal.
- By email to your local court: Each Ontario Court of Justice has its own email address. Each Superior Court of Justice also has an email address and instructions on how to email documents. Check the top of your court forms for the name and address of your local court.
- In person: If you cannot file online or by email, contact your local court to find out when they are open to file documents in person at the court.
The cost to file court forms online is the same as the cost to file them in person at a courthouse. For the:
- Ontario Court of Justice, there are no filing fees
- Superior Court of Justice, including the Family Court branch, there may be filing fees, depending on what you're asking for.
If you can't afford to pay the court fees, you can ask for a fee waiver certificate. This means you don't have to pay most court fees. The Ontario government's A Guide to Fee Waiver Requests tells you which court fees can be waived and how to ask for a fee waiver.
Rule 1.1 Electronic filing and issuance of documents tells you how to file your documents. There is also a guide on how to file documents.
Make sure you have the most up-to-date court forms. All forms can be downloaded as Word documents and some are also available as fillable PDFs.
Use CLEO’s Guided Pathways
You can use CLEO's Guided Pathways to Family Court Forms to fill out your court forms. This free online tool asks you questions and puts your answers into the required court forms. When you're finished, you can save or print your completed forms and file them with the court.
Before you file your documents, you must remove all financial account numbers and personal identifying information. You do this by blacking out information like:
- 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 shows this information. A judge might ask to see it.
Get legal help
Family law court forms can be difficult to understand and fill out. It's a good idea to talk to a lawyer before you fill out your forms and file them. A lawyer can make sure your forms are correctly filled out and you have all the documents you need.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case, such as filling out your forms.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.