Where do I start for information on Family Court?

Last reviewed June 2024 by the Clicklaw editors

This page directs you to information on family matters in the BC Provincial Court, including guardianship of a child, parenting arrangements, child/spousal support, protection orders and more.

Most of these matters can also be dealt with in Supreme Court. For divorce and division of family property, you must go to BC Supreme Court.

Note: Information providers can download this two-page PDF handout and post it or give it to people seeking information.


Living Together or Living Apart | basics of family law in BC

This booklet from Legal Aid BC (LABC) explains what laws apply to marriage/marriage-like relationships, which court to go to, issues to consider, a glossary of definitions, and more.

See more resources on the Family Law in BC website, including:

  • Provincial Court Registries — This resource explains three different types of registries and the steps involved in filing a family law application at each one. It includes a video.
  • Provincial Court Forms — This resource provides a list of the blank Provincial Court (family) forms.
  • BC’s Legal System — This resource explains the different courts in BC, their processes, and how to get help from a lawyer or advocate. It also includes tips for filling out, filing, and serving court forms.

Families Change | dealing with a family breakup

This website from Justice Education Society (JES) provides age-appropriate information to help parents, teens, and kids deal with a family break up.

Parenting After Separation (PAS) and PAS for Indigenous Families

This resource from the Government of BC is a free course on making positive choices in caring for children following separation. It provides information about the separation process and how to access help, including mediation from a family justice counsellor. You must take one of these courses before your first court appearance in all BC Provincial Court locations.

Alternatives to Court

Mediation, Collaborative Negotiation, and Arbitration | resolve disputes out of court 

This resource from People’s Law School discusses ways to resolve family law issues without going to court, including mediation and collaborative practice.

Alternatives to Court | alternate dispute resolution (ADR)

This resource from the Provincial Court includes information about ways to resolve disputes through mediation services like Family Justice Counsellors, as well as ways to resolve cases in child protection matters.

Preparing for Court

Family Law in BC | information pages and step-by-step guides

This website from Legal Aid BC provides the following resources:

  • Legal Forms & Documents — filing and setting aside agreements, writing and swearing affidavits, finding court forms, completing a Financial Statement (Form 4), and serving documents.
  • Court Orders — getting family orders (parenting, support, property), enforcing an order or agreement, drafting (writing) a court order.
  • If You Have to Go to Court — court fees, trials in Provincial Court (roles in the courtroom, steps during a trial, how to prepare a trial book, etc.), Family Management Conference checklist.
  • Child Protection — presentation hearing, protection hearing, child protection court orders.
  • Child & Spousal Support — Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, attending a committal hearing (for payors).

Family Cases |info & guides from the Provincial Court 

This resource from the Provincial Court has the following resources: 

Need help?

The following services can help with free legal advice if you meet their financial eligibility requirements.

For lower-cost legal help:

  • Unbundled Legal Services explains hiring a lawyer to help with parts of your legal matter (rather than the whole file). Includes a directory of lawyers offering unbundled services.

The following services provide other assistance you may need throughout the process.

  • AC Friends of Court helps with completing court forms. Book an appointment on their website.
  • Justice Education Society’s Ask JES provides help with legal information and resources. Call/text 1-855-875-8867 or use live chat on their website.
  • Courthouse Libraries BC provides legal information services via a network of libraries in BC courthouses. Call 1-800-665-2570 or email. librarian@courthouselibrary.ca before visiting our library for help with legal research and access to public computers, print materials, and legal databases.

Find more services. 50+ services can help with family law matters.