Family Case Conference checklist
We've prepared a checklist of the information/facts you need to have with you when you go into a Family Case Conference (FCC). An FCC is a private, informal one-hour meeting between you, the other party, and a Provincial Court judge, and your lawyer(s) if you have one. The purpose of the FCC is to try to settle parenting issues without going to court for a full hearing.
The court rules say that judges can deal only with parenting issues at Family Case Conferences, but sometimes they'll also deal with support issues since these are often related to parenting issues. This checklist includes preparing for the possibility that the judge will deal with both support and parenting.
Remember to bring a copy of your filed application in addition to what's listed below.
You'll need to be able to provide the following information at your Family Case Conference:
- What is the age and birthdate of all parties (including the children, if any)?
- When did you move in together and/or get married?
- Where did you live when you were together?
- When did you separate?
- Where does each party live now?
- If you have children, where do they live?
- What are both parties' current jobs?
Be prepared to give a summary of the significant responsibilities and contributions of each party during the relationship. For example:
- One spouse stayed at home and cared for the children while the other spouse worked.
- One spouse worked while the other spouse went to school to upgrade skills and get a better-paying job.
- Both spouses worked, and the children were in daycare during the day and cared for by both parents during their time off work.
Be prepared to provide the following details if you're applying for or responding to an application for parenting orders:
- Ages and birthdates for each child.
- The name of the children's daycare, preschool, or any other school.
- The grade each child is in.
- A brief description of each child's progress in school.
- The children's extracurricular activities or special interests, if any.
- Any medical problems or special needs the children have.
- The estimated financial cost of each child's medical, educational, or other special expenses.
Be prepared to provide the following details if you and the other parent don't agree on parenting orders, or if the parenting orders relate to either party's ability to pay support:
- What were the typical parenting responsibilities of each parent before the separation? (Especially important if the separation is recent, and parenting time is an issue.)
- Who changed the diapers?
- Who made bottles/gave night feedings?
- Is a child being breastfed?
- Who attended parent-teacher conferences?
- Who took the children to doctors' appointments or extracurricular activities?
- Who prepared meals?
- Was childcare shared, or did one parent do the bulk of the childcare?
- Are the children more bonded to one parent than the other? And if so, what observations lead you to conclude that?
- How have you divided parenting responsibilities since the separation?
- Have you taken any steps since the separation to minimize disruption in the children's lives?
Include the following details if they're relevant to an application for parenting orders:
- Who are the extended family members who have a close relationship with the children, and where do they live?
- What is your relationship to those family members — on both sides of the family?
- What are your plans, if any, to maintain those relationships for the children?
Be prepared to provide the following details if you're applying for or responding to an application for a family law protection order or a parenting order, or if they're relevant to a support application:
- Describe how you and the other party communicate, and give recent examples, particularly if there are problems.
- Is there family violence? If so, describe it specifically.
- Was anyone injured? If so, describe the injuries and attach doctor's notes if available.
- Focus on recent incidents (as close in time as possible to the court application) and any significant past events.
- Get and attach copies of police reports, charges, and peace bonds, if any.
- Describe any exposure your children may have had to violence or abuse.
- Describe any steps taken to help children deal with abuse.
- Describe any drug or alcohol abuse by a parent or new partner that affects the children's safety.
- Describe any involvement of the Ministry of Children and Family Development with your family.
Be prepared to provide the following details if you're applying for or responding to an application for parenting time or contact with a child, and the details are relevant to your case:
- Does either parent work or work shifts that could affect his or her ability to spend time with the children?
- How much time has the children spent with each parent since the separation?
- Are there any special events/occasions for which you or the other parent particularly want the children (especially if you and the other parent don't agree about this)?
For spousal support
Be prepared to provide the following details if you're applying for or responding to an application for spousal support (but note the judge might not deal with support applications at an FCC):
- Provide a brief summary of your education and work history.
- List your absences, if any, from the workforce and describe the reasons (for example, illness, injury, children, staying at home to be a homemaker).
- Describe your current job and income, and list the source and amount of your income for the last three years.
- Identify your reasonable needs and how much more money you'd need to meet these needs.
- Identify anything that prevents you from earning a reasonable living. (For example, do you have a physical disability, are you caring for young children, or do you need to upgrade your skills?)
- Estimate how long it might take to upgrade job skills and what steps you need to take to be able to earn a reasonable living.
- Describe the other party's education, work history, current job, and present income level.
- Identify any assets that could be used for support (for example, an RSP in your spouse's name alone).
For child support
Be prepared to provide the following details if you're applying for or responding to an application for child support:
- If you're claiming special or extraordinary expenses, identify each expense claimed, identify the child it's claimed for, and provide proof of the expenses such as receipts. (The expenses must be listed per month.)
- If you're claiming special or extraordinary expenses, provide information about your own income. (If you're asking for basic support, you don't need to list your income.)
- If medical, dental, or extended healthcare benefits are available through your employment or that of the other party, identify the benefits and explain what's available.
- If you have reason to believe that the other party isn't accurately disclosing his or her income, list the inaccuracies and give the reasons for your belief.
Include other relevant information if you're applying for or responding to an application for parenting orders:
- Any religious, spiritual, or cultural values that the parents think should be part of the children's upbringing (especially if there's conflict about this)
- Your religious and/or cultural activities before the separation
- Any additional languages the children know (for example, if the children speak another language as a result of spending time with one parent or a grandparent)
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