Ontario Family Law Court Procedures

Q – What is appropriate courtroom behaviour?

A – Dress appropriately for court. Do not bring any food or drink into the courtroom. If the judge speaks to you, you should stand. Only one person should speak it a time. It is very important that every person in the courtroom be respectful and courteous to everyone else.


Q – I’ve attended at a Case Conference and my spouse and I are unable to reach an agreement on any issue. I need child support on a temporary basis, at the very least. Who can bring a motion?

A – Anyone who is a party to a case, or anyone who is affected by a case (other than a child) can bring a motion. In order to bring a motion, you must serve and file a Notice of Motion and an Affidavit (a sworn statement providing the evidence in support of your request). The materials must be served no later than 4 days before the motion date and filed with the court no later than 2 days before the motion date.

Please note that in the Toronto Superior Court, it is also necessary to file another document (“Factum”) summarizing the contents of the motion record and the arguments and law to be relied on at the hearing.

You must also file a form 14C confirmation, confirming your plan to attend court no later than 2 days before the motion date.


Q – My spouse has served me with an Application. How long do I have to file an Answer?

A – If you reside within Canada, you have 30 days to file your Answer. If you are outside of Canada, you are allotted 60 days to file your Answer.


Q – My spouse is claiming child support. What documents do I have to attach to my financial statement?

A – Your financial statement must include your last 3 years Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment, or a direction to Revenue Canada to release them to your spouse. Note that full and honest financial disclosure is very important in family matters, and as such, this information must be updated 30 days before each court appearance with either a new Financial Statement, or an updating Affidavit advising the court and the other party that your circumstances have not changed since the filing of your last financial statement.


Q – Must I file any documents for my Case Conference?

A – For either a Case conference, Settlement or Trial management conference, you must file a brief (form 17A, 17C or 17E depending on the conference) either seven days before the conference date (if you are the Applicant) or four days before the conference date (if you are the Respondent), unless the judge advises that it is not necessary to do so.

As with a motion, please remember that you must also file a Confirmation (form 14C) no later than 2:00pm two days before the Case conference, confirming your attendance with the court.


Q – My matter has been ongoing and I am unable to reach a settlement with my spouse. How long does it take to get a trial date?

A – According to the Ontario Guide to Procedures in Family Court, it usually takes approximately 200 days from the date of the Application for the court to schedule a trial date.

Please feel free to contact us at info@jnmlaw.com or call 416-929-6821