Going to Provincial Court
New family law rules and family law forms used in Provincial Court came into effect on May 17, 2021. For more information, see Provincial Court Family Rules (PCFR) Explained.
Some changes to the new family law rules and forms were made by Order in Council No. 647 and are in effect as of January 4, 2022. The PCFR Explained document, the family forms and online forms service have been updated to reflect these changes.
See below for information about the requirements for starting a family law case in different types of court registries.
Provincial Court can make orders about guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, child support and spousal support. You can also get a protection order from the Provincial Court.
For a decision on the division of property and debt, you have to go to the Supreme Court.
Provincial Court locations have requirements that must be completed before you can move forward with a court application about family law matters. Important: These requirements do not apply to applications for other orders. This includes protection orders, priority parenting matters, relocation, enforcement, case management, and consent orders.
Where there are children involved, you must file your application in the closest registry to where the children live most of the time. If there are no children involved, the person starting the process files in the registry closest to where they live.
In Early Resolution Registries you must complete the following requirements before you can file an application about a family law matter:
- Individual needs assessment meeting with a family justice counsellor
- Parenting After Separation online course, if applicable
- Consensual dispute resolution session, if appropriate
For more information and the list of court locations with these requirements, see the Early Resolution Registries brochure or the Early Resolution Process page.
In Family Justice Registries you must complete a needs assessment with a Family Justice Counsellor and a Parenting After Separation course before your first court date (a Family Management Conference) will be scheduled. See the Family Justice Registries brochure for more information and for the list of court locations with these requirements.
In Parenting Education Program Registries, you must complete a Parenting After Separation course before your Family Management Conference will be scheduled. See Do I have to take the Parenting After Separation course? for the list of court locations with this requirement.
Legal Aid BC's Family Law in BC website has information about going to court, including information about court processes and how to apply for family law orders. The explanations about court processes will interest anyone going to Provincial Court or Supreme Court, with or without a lawyer.
Clicklaw provides user-friendly, searchable access to key legal information in B.C., including information about how to apply for family law orders.
You can access the Provincial Family Court forms and the Supreme Court Family Forms on the B.C. government’s Court Forms page.