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Common Questions

How do I know which court to go to for a family matter?

Last reviewed December 2020 by the Clicklaw Editors

Figuring out which court you should go to is an important first step in any family law case. Although the Supreme Court and the Provincial Court in BC handle different types of cases, they also handle some of the same types. However, procedures, time frames, costs, and the kinds of orders you can get for each court are different.

Good starting points include:

  • Court Orders, from Legal Aid BC, has a section called "Get an order in BC". It includes an information page called "Do You Need to Go to Provincial (Family) Court or Supreme Court?", with a chart that compares how the two courts are different for family matters.
  • Living Together or Living Apart,  from the Legal Aid BC, provides an Appendix that explains which court you go to under the Divorce Act and Family Relations Act.

Need more help?

  • Family LawLINE, from Legal Aid BC, provides legal advice about family law issues for low-income people.
  • Before you decide to go to court, you may want to ask for an advice from a family lawyer. Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:



going to court, choosing a court, family court, Supreme Court