How do I respond to a family law court case?
Question & AnswerHow do I respond to a family law court case?
4. File your forms at court
After you your partner with your documents, you must go to the courthouse to them and Form 6B: Affidavit of Service. This means they are added to your court file.
But 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.
File your documents
You can now file most family law forms and supporting documents online. For more information on how to file online, read the question How do I file court forms for my family law case online?
After you submit your 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 resubmit your corrected documents 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're not allowed to, or don't want to file your documents online, then you have to file them in person at the courthouse.You do this at the court counter, with the help of the .
There is a guide on how to file documents.
Your partner will have started a court file, which is called the continuing record. The continuing record is the court file that has all the important documents in your case.
Rule 9: Continuing record says that you must file every document in your case in a continuing record so the judge can find it easily when it's needed.
The continuing record has 2 parts:
- The volume has all the endorsements and court orders the judge made in your case. An endorsement is the written directions a judge gives you and your partner that says what you must do or not do.
- The documents volume has most of the documents you and your partner file in your case. For example, your Applications, Answers, Replies, affidavits of service, financial statements, motions, and affidavits.
Documents are added to the continuing record after they have been served on the other person.
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.
Court staff can help you figure out where each document goes in the continuing record.
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 file if you need to check something.
The cost to file court forms online is the same as the cost to file them in person at a courthouse.
There are no court fees at the Ontario Court of Justice. But, if your case is at the Superior Court of Justice or the Family Branch of the Superior Court of Justice you have to pay court fees. These include:
- $161 to file an Answer
- $202 to file an Answer that includes a
If you can't afford to pay the court fees, you can ask the court for a “fee waiver”. If you get a waiver, it 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.