Common Questions

Where do I start for information on Family Court?
Last reviewed by Clicklaw Editors in July 2019

Find helpful info on family matters you can deal with in BC Provincial Court here: guardianship, parenting arrangements, child/spousal support, protection orders and more. 

If your case is in Victoria Provincial (Family) Court, you will follow different procedures. See BC Legal System from the Family Law in BC website for more details.

Note: 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.

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An Overview

Living Together or Living Apart basics of family law in BC

From Legal Services Society (LSS): Explains what laws apply, marriage/marriage-like relationships, which court to go to, issues to consider, a glossary of definitions, and more.
See more resources at - this website covers both Provincial and Supreme court.

MyLawBC guided pathways for legal solutions

From Legal Services Society (LSS): Answer questions to get help with legal problems. Includes a "get family (court) orders" pathway, and what to do after "I've been served with a court document."

JP Boyd on Family Law | detailed and practical overview

From the Clicklaw Wikibooks: Plain-language manual. JP Boyd is a well-known family law expert and the founding author of this Clicklaw Wikibook, which is updated by BC lawyers. Access filled-out examples of court forms. Chapters include:

How to Separate help for separating couples

From Justice Education Society (JES): Step-by-step information through videos, text and worksheets. Covers a range of topics in sections on Working it Out and Going to Court. Live help by phone and online chat. Ask JES available weekdays 11am to 2pm.

Familes Change
guide for separation and divorce

From Justice Education Society (JES): Age-appropriate information to help parents, teens, and kids deal with a family break up. Includes online courses:
  • Parenting After Separation - covers key legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Parenting After Separation Finances - covers separating the finances.

Alternatives to Court

Mediation and Collaborative Practice - Dial-a-Law | resolve disputes out of court

From People's Law School: You may be able to resolve your family law issue without going to court. Learn how mediation or collaborative practice can be used to resolve issues out of court.

Alternatives to Court | alternate dispute resolution or "ADR"

From the Provincial Court: This resource 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

  • Legal forms & documents: filing & setting aside agreements, writing & 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, family matters at the Victoria Courthouse
  • 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 Case Conference checklist
  • Child protection: presentation hearing, protection hearing, child protection court orders
  • Child & spousal support: Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), attending a committal hearing (for payors)

Family Cases | hear from the Provincial Court

From the Provincial Court:

Need extra help after reviewing these resources?

Unbundled Legal Services | a new service model for lower-cost legal help

From People's Law School: 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.

Clicklaw HelpMap: Find legal help near you. 50+ services can help with family law matters.

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