Almost every document that goes into the court file that judges use to manage and decide family law cases is a form created under the Family Law Rules. The Ministry of the Attorney General website makes a blank copy of every Family Law form available in PDF and Microsoft Word form for parties to cases to download and fill out.
The Family Law forms are closely connected to the Family Law Rules. For example, Rule 17 deals with Case Conferences. It says that setting up a Case Conference requires service and filing of a Notice. The Notice is Form 17. Rule 17 also requires the parties to serve and file Case Conference Briefs. Form 17A is the Case Conference Brief. It is a good idea whenever you read a Rule to check whether there are any forms that begin with the same number as the Rule.
Sometimes the form states that another document must be attached, such as the last three Notices of Assessment on the Forms 13 and 13.1 Financial Statement or any previous custody or access orders on a Form 35.1 Affidavit in Support of a Claim for Custody or Access. The form is not complete and the court clerk will not allow it to be filed unless the required documents are attached.
There are different ways to sign different forms. Sometimes all that’s needed is the simple signature of a party, as in the Form 8 Application or the Form 10 Answer. Other times the signature needs to be “sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths.” All lawyers are Commissioners of Oaths and some of the clerks and other staff at family court are Commissioners too. A Commissioner will ask to see your photo identification; ask you whether you swear or affirm that the contents of the form are true; watch you put your signature on the page; and then sign and date the form himself or herself.
The Form 35.1 Affidavit in Support of a Claim for Custody or Access requires both a sworn signature on the last page and putting your initials beside a sentence on the second last page – the sentence says you will update the court if anything important changes. If the initials are not there, the Form 35.1 cannot be filed. Often that means other court forms cannot be filed either. The Rules say that if a Form 8 Application makes a claim for Custody or Access, a Form 35.1 must be filed. If you can’t file the Form 35.1, you can’t file the Form 8 either. If the person who signed the Form 35.1 is standing at the counter doing the filing he or she can add the initials on the spot but if someone else is doing the filing, that’s not possible.
Here is a table listing some of the forms used in the early stage of cases that start with a Form 8 Application:
|Form Number||Form Name||Comments|
|8||Application||To start some kinds of family law cases|
|10||Answer||Other side's response to a Form 8|
|13||Financial Statement (Support Claims)||It's used when there are financial issues that DO NOT include property|
|13.1||Financial Statement (Property and Support Claims)||It's used when there are financial issues that DO include property|
|35.1||Affidavit in Support of a Claim for Custody or Access||Either side is seeking custody or access order|
|6B||Affidavit of Service||Used almost every time a court form is filed to prove the other side got a copy|
|17||Conference Notice||To schedule a Case Conference (and other conferences)|
|14C||Confirmation||To let court know that a case conference, other conference or motion will proceed as scheduled|
|14B||Notice of Motion||Use is restricted to certain simpler types of motion|
|14A||Notice of Motion||Used to set up most types of motion|
|6A||General Affidavit||Many uses including supporting motions and updating Forms 13, 13.1 and 35.1|