5. Get your partner's answer

How do I start a family law court case?
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5. Get your partner's answer

Your partner has 30 days (or 60 days if they live outside of Canada or the United States) to fill out, serve, and file their documents in response to your documents.

They have to fill out Form 10: Answer where they can:

  • agree or disagree with what you have said
  • make new claims and ask for new things

For example, your partner may agree to your custody and access plans, but disagree with the amount of child support you're asking for. And they may add a new claim for spousal support.

They may also give you a copy of their:

Your partner doesn't respond

If your partner doesn't respond, the judge may make a decision based only on your documents and evidence.

Your partner agrees with some or all of your claims

If your partner agrees with some or all of the things you're asking for, you can stop your court case and try to agree on your issues outside of court. For example, you can make a separation agreement, get a consent order, or make an offer to settle.

Your partner makes new claims

If your partner asks for new things that aren't in your Application, you don't have to respond to them. If you don't, it means you don't agree with what your partner has said.

But, if you want to reply to their new claims with your facts and evidence, you have to fill out Form 10A: Reply.

For example, if your partner says that you have a drug problem, and you didn't say anything about this in your Form 8: Application, you can file a Reply that addresses that issue.

You have 10 days to fill out, serve, and file a Reply if you choose to do so.

You can't make any new claims in your Reply. If you need to make a new claim, you have to file an amended Form 8: Application. If your partner has already filed their response, you must get their permission first. If your partner doesn't give you their permission, you can bring a motion to the court asking for permission.

You continue with your family law court case whether or not you file a Reply.

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Reviewed: April 1, 2019

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