Depending on what kind of order you have, you might be able to appeal it.
But it costs a lot and it's complicated.
Appeal courts can't change an order just because they might have made a different decision.
Before the Appeal Court will think about changing an order, the Provincial Court or BC Supreme Court (called lower courts) has to have:
- made a mistake in the law, or
- completely misunderstood the evidence.
Speak to a lawyer before you file an appeal. But act fast.
You can't appeal anytime. There are strict time limits. You might only have 14 days to appeal certain interim orders, for example.
Appealing an order isn't the same as changing an order.
You can appeal an order (to a higher court) if you think the judge made a mistake about the facts or the law when they made your order. You only have a short time to make an appeal.
There's no time limit for applying to change an order anytime. You do this in the same court that made your first order. Usually, you can change an order when things have changed for you or the other person. See When can you change a final order? to find out more about this.
Where do you make an appeal?
If you have a final order
If you have a final order from Provincial Court, apply for an appeal to the BC Supreme Court.
If you have a final order from BC Supreme Court, apply for an appeal to the BC Court of Appeal.
If you have an interim order
If you have an interim order from Provincial Court, you can't appeal it. But sometimes you can get a judicial review, which is like an appeal. (See the Justice Education Society’s booklet Judicial Review to find out more about this.)
If a Supreme Court master made your interim order, you can appeal it to a Supreme Court judge.
If a Supreme Court judge made your interim order, you can appeal it to the BC Court of Appeal.
If your order was made under the Family Law Act, you can only appeal it if the Court of Appeal says it's okay. This is called getting leave to appeal.
If you have an order under the Divorce Act, you can appeal it directly to the Court of Appeal.