Self-help guides

The self-help guides below show you step-by-step how to make a court application or how to respond to one. If you're unsure of your situation, see Which guide should I choose? Or, choose directly from the guides below.

Divorce

If a couple agrees about all related family issues, you can get a divorce without appearing in court.

Do your own undefended (uncontested) divorce (Supreme Court)
All the documents you need to apply for a desk-order divorce in BC, when you and your spouse agree. Instructions for applying on your own or together with your spouse.

Get a copy of your marriage certificate
Explains how to get a copy of your marriage certificate (needed for a divorce) if you were married in BC, in another province, or in another country.

Write your own separation agreement
Explains how to write a legally binding separation agreement if you're going through a separation and/or divorce.

Agreements

If a couple agrees about family issues, you can put that into a written legal agreement.

File your agreement in Provincial Court
Explains how to create a court file for your case in Provincial Court by taking your signed agreement to the court registry.

File your agreement in Supreme Court
Explains how to create a court file for your case in Supreme Court by taking your signed agreement to the court registry.

Set aside all or part of an agreement (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to ask the court to change an agreement by asking the court to replace all or part of it with a new court order.

Write your own separation agreement
Explains how to write a legally binding separation agreement if you're going through a separation and/or divorce.

Child protection/removal

These guides are about getting help with matters involving the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and child protection.

Ask the ministry for help
If you're having trouble looking after your children, you can ask the MCFD for help.

Get help if someone reports you to the ministry
If your children have been taken — or may be taken — by the MCFD or an Aboriginal delegated agency, use this guide to learn about your rights and responsibilities, and the ministry and court process.

Make a complaint against the ministry
How to make a complaint about the process or how you’re being treated when you're dealing with the MCFD.

Court fees (trouble paying)

Get an order to waive fees (Supreme Court)
If you can't afford to pay court fees, you can apply for a court order called "an order to waive fees" that will excuse you from having to pay them.

Draft an affidavit

Draft an affidavit (Supreme Court)
Explains how to draft an affidavit if you're a party in a family law case.

Draft a court order

Draft a Supreme Court order
Explains how to draft a Supreme Court order if you're a party in a family law case.

Enforce a parenting agreement or order

Enforce a parenting agreement or order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
If issues come up that you can't resolve on your own, you can apply for a court order to enforce your parenting order.

Family Maintenance Enforcement Program

Staff in the BC Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) can monitor child and/or spousal support payments in court orders and agreements. They can take action to get money from payors who fall behind.

Deal with a committal hearing (for payors)
This guide tells you how to prepare for a committal hearing, options to avoid the hearing, what you have to explain to the judge, how to apply to change an order, and how the judge might rule at the hearing.

Family orders if you can agree

Whether or not you're applying for a divorce, you can get a consent order about your family issues (parenting, child/spousal support, and/or division of property/debts).

Get a final family order

Get a final family order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to apply for a final family consent order about parenting, support, or property.

Get an interim family order

Start a family law case to get a new order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains the steps you need to take before you can apply for an interim family consent order about parenting or support.

Get an interim family order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to get a temporary order to put parenting or support arrangements in place until a judge can make a final family order.

Change a family order

Change a family order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to apply to change an existing court order.

Family orders if you can't agree

Whether or not you're applying for a divorce, you can get a court order about your family issues (parenting, child/spousal support, and/or division of property/debts). You must first start the legal proceeding called a family law case.

Get a final family order

Start a family law case to get a new order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains the steps you need to take before you can apply for a final family order about parenting or support.

Get a final family order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to apply for a court ruling that will decide your parenting or support issues.

Get an interim family order

Start a family law case to get a new order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains the steps you need to take before you can apply for an interim family order about parenting or support.

Get an interim family order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to get a temporary court ruling to put parenting or support arrangements in place until a judge can make a final order.

Change a family order

Start a family law case to change an order (Provincial Court)
Explains the steps you need to take before you can apply to change an existing Provincial Court family order.

Change a family order (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains how to apply to change an existing order.

Change a support order (Divorce Act) made outside BC
Explains how to apply to a BC court to change an order for child or spousal support that was made in a divorce proceeding in another province under the Divorce Act.

Financial Statement forms

Deal with a Provincial Court Financial Statement (Form 4)
Explains when you must prepare a Financial Statement form for Provincial court, how to fill it out, and what documents you need to include with it.

Deal with a Supreme Court Financial Statement (Form F8)
Explains when you must prepare a Financial Statement form for Supreme Court, how to fill it out, and what documents you need to include with it.

Judicial Case Conference

Deal with a Judicial Case Conference (Supreme Court)
Explains how to prepare for a JCC meeting, where you and the other party have a chance to work things out with a judge or master without having to go to court.

Protection orders

Apply for a family law protection order
Explains how to apply for a court order to protect yourself from a family member.

Restart a Supreme Court family law case

Use a Supreme Court Notice of Intention to Proceed (Form F48)
Explains how to fill out the form you need when there's been a long delay in your Supreme Court case and you want to start it up again.

Serve documents

When making an application to court, you're often required to serve documents on the other person(s) involved.

Serve Provincial Court documents
Explains the two ways to get documents to the other party or parties in your Provincial Court case, and how to figure out which method to use.

Serve Supreme Court documents
Explains the two ways to get documents to the other party or parties in your Supreme Court case, and how to figure out which method to use.

Serve court documents outside BC (Provincial or Supreme Court)
Explains the two ways to get documents to the other party or parties in your court case if they live outside BC, and how to know which method to use.

Arrange for alternative (substitutional) service (Provincial or Supreme Court)
If you can't have documents served personally because the other party is avoiding service or not available, you can ask the court to allow you to deliver the documents in another way.

Supreme Court trials

How to schedule and prepare for your Supreme Court trial
Explains the steps required to prepare for and schedule a Supreme Court trial, with a timeline of significant deadlines, plus videos about the Supreme Court process.

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Important: These self-help guides are for information only. They don't take the place of legal advice. The information here is believed to be correct as of the date it was put online, but the law is always changing. If possible, get legal advice to make sure the information in these guides is accurate and that you understand exactly what your rights are.