Questions about the Supreme Court Family Rules in effect July 1, 2010

On July 1, 2010, new Supreme Court Family Rules came into effect that change many Supreme Court family law court processes. Here are a few questions and answers about the new rules.

Do the new rules apply to my case if any of my documents were filed before they came into effect?

Yes. All cases started before the new rules took effect on July 1, 2010, are considered (or deemed) to be family law cases under the new rules.

How do the changed rules affect my case if I filed it before July 2010?

First of all, from July 1 on, you must follow the court rules as set out in the new Supreme Court Family Rules.

Secondly, if you filed documents before July 1, 2010 that contained different names or terms, they are considered (or deemed) to be the new documents and the new terms apply to your case. For example, if you filed a Writ of Summons (Form 127) and Statement of Claim (Form 128) before July 1, 2010, you are now considered to be the claimant instead of the plaintiff and the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim are considered to be the Notice of Family Claim (Form F3). If you filed an Appearance (Form 7) or an Appearance and Statement of Defence (Form 129), you are now the respondent instead of the defendant and your documents will be referred to as a Response to Family Claim (Form F4) under the new rules.

See also our Old Rules/New Rules in Supreme Court chart showing the names of documents filed/terms used under the old rules and what they're called under the new rules.

Do I need to file new documents to replace the ones I filed before July 1, 2010?

In most cases, neither party will have to file new documents. However, if one party does want the other party to use the new form instead of the document they filed before July 1, 2010, they can serve a Demand (Form F99) on the other party, and the other party must file the new document within 21 days of being served with the Demand.

You cannot make this demand if final orders have been made for all the claims in your case.

One situation where it might be helpful to ask the other party to file the new form is if the other party filed a Writ of Summons or a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim before July 1, 2010, but you have not yet filed an Appearance or Statement of Defence. The new form, called a Response to Family Claim (Form F4), asks you to respond to the facts and claims set out in the Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) and this form will be difficult to fill out if the other party has not filed a Notice of Family Claim.

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