Who this guide is for
This step-by-step guide is for you if:
- you want an interim order; and
- you and the other party agree about what the order should say. (An order you both agree on is called a consent order.)
If you have children, this guide can help you get interim orders before you do your own uncontested divorce. This guide won't tell you how to apply for a divorce.
About this guide
If you and the other person agree on the terms to get a family order, you can use this guide to apply to the court for a consent order.
This guide has information about:
- the documents you need to collect,
- the forms you need to prepare,
- the time periods you have to work with, and
- what you can expect.
Even if you and the other party agree on everything, you still have to prepare documents and pay fees to get a court order. To find out how much the fees are, see Appendix C of the Supreme Court Family Rules.
How to get a court order or agreement without using this guide
There are other processes you can use to get court orders when you agree. These are outlined below.
Orders made at a Judicial Case Conference
You can request a Judicial Case Conference (JCC) and ask the judge or master to make the order you both want. There's less paperwork involved in this procedure. You can simply tell the judge in person what you agree to rather than having to put it down in written sworn documents. See Judicial Case Conferences in Supreme Court.
Then you need to appear before a judge or master in Chambers to ask them to make the order by consent.
Notice of Joint Family Claim
If you and the other party agree from the very beginning on how you want to resolve all your family issues, you and the other party can file a Notice of Joint Family Claim (Form F1). This form tells the court that:
- you're both jointly starting the lawsuit, and
- agree on what you want the court to order.
The advantage of joint pleadings is that you don't have to serve documents on the other party. Use this method only if you're very certain right from the start that you agree to everything. If it turns out that you don't agree later, you'll have to file a withdrawal of the joint pleadings to convert the matter into a regular lawsuit.
You can file your joint pleadings and the material for a desk order all at the same time.
Agreements (not going to court at all)
If you don't need or want to have a court order, you and the other party can:
- draw up a written agreement, and
- file a signed copy of it in the court registry.
Once filed, those parts of the agreement that deal with parenting and support are as enforceable as if the agreement were a court order. You can do this without starting a court action and going through the steps in this guide.
Get legal help
It's a good idea to get some legal help before you use this guide. If you can't afford a lawyer, you can get legal help in other ways, including:
- Lawyer Referral Service
- free (pro bono) legal clinics
- family duty counsel
- family advice lawyers
- family justice counsellors
Staff at Justice Access Centres in Nanaimo, Surrey, Vancouver, and Victoria can also answer your questions and help you fill out forms.
For information about legal aid, see the Legal Aid BC website.
Look through this guide and take it one step at a time. You don't have to do it all at once.
Prepare the court documents
Before you use this guide, you must start a family law case. There are two ways to do this, depending on your situation:
- To start a new case (you don't have an order already), see our step-by-step guide Start or respond to a family law case.
- To change a court order, see our step-by-step guide Start a family law case to change an order.
Once you've followed the steps in one of these guides, you can apply for an interim consent order using this guide.
If you and the other party agree on how to deal with some family law issues for now, you can apply to the court for an interim consent order. This order will remain in place until the court makes another order.
To get an interim consent order, you need to fill out:
- a Requisition for Consent Order or for Order Without Notice (Form F29) — tells the court what you want and what documents you're providing to support your application;
- an Affidavit (Form F30) — supports the application that says you both agree to the order that you're proposing and explains why the order should be granted; and
- a draft Consent Order (Form F33) — sets out what the court orders. You fill in all the details, and the judge signs it. The consent order you draft will become your interim order, once the judge has signed it.
For more information about preparing orders, see Tips for writing Supreme Court orders and the step-by-step guide Write a Supreme Court order.
For the Affidavit, see also Checklist of information to include in an affidavit or bring to court) and How do you write an affidavit?, and the step-by-step guide Write an affidavit.
You might also file an Agreement as to Annual Income (Form F9). The judge needs information about your finances before they will make an order for support. You should have filed and served the required Financial Statement (Form F8) with your Notice of Family Claim (or Notice of Joint Family Claim) and/or Response to Family Claim. But, if you prefer, you can ask the judge to use an Agreement as to Annual Income (Form F9) instead. This document just shows the amount of income you and the other party agree the order should be based on.
If you use an Agreement as to Annual Income (Form F9), you must also file:
- a copy of the most recent personal income tax return filed by the the payor
- and a copy of the payor's most recent income tax assessment.
If you don’t have these, you must file an affidavit that:
- explains why the unfiled documents aren't available, and
- provides evidence to satisfy the court that the amount of income and child support agreed to by both parties is reasonable.
These forms contain instructions to help you fill them out.
Have both parties sign the documents
Both parties must sign:
- the Consent Order (Form F33), and
- the Agreement as to Annual Income (Form F9), if you used this form instead of a Financial Statement (Form F8).
Make two copies of the Consent Order — one for you and one for the other party.
Swear or affirm any affidavits
After you've completed all the necessary court documents, you must swear or affirm that what's stated in the affidavits is true.
You'll need to prove that you are who you say you are, so take picture identification with you.
Collect your affidavits and copies of any documents you want to attach to them and take them to:
- a lawyer,
- notary public, or
- a clerk at the court registry.
You have to swear or affirm any affidavits in front of one of these people.
Make copies of the documents
Before you file your documents at the court registry, make photocopies for your records. You need two copies of the:
- Requisition for Consent Order or for Order Without Notice (Form F29)
- Affidavit (Form F30)
- Draft Consent Order (Form F33)
- Agreement as to Annual Income (Form F9)
File the court documents at the court registry
File your documents at the same registry where you filed your Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) (unless a court order to change the registry has been issued since your case began). Bring along two copies of the following documents:
- the Requisition for Consent Order or for Order Without Notice (Form F29);
- the Affidavit (Form F30) to support the application;
- the Agreement as to Annual Income (Form F9), if you are using one; and
- the Consent Order (Form F33).
Get the signed Consent Order (Form F33) from the court registry
After you file the documents, they'll be given to a judge to review. If the judge is satisfied that your order is appropriate, your Consent Order (Form F33) will be signed and entered into the court records.
If the judge is concerned about whether the order is appropriate, they may ask for:
- more information, or
- you to appear in Chambers.
Ask the registry clerk what day you can return to the court registry to find out whether the order you want has been granted.
If the order has been granted when you return, pick up a copy for your records. Make a copy of the original order and give one to the other party.
Give FMEP a copy of the Consent Order (Form F33)
If you changed a child support order that was registered with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), you must send a copy of the new Consent Order (Form F33) to the FMEP office where the original order was registered.
You can mail or fax it. If you mail the order, you'll need to make a second copy so you can keep one for your records.
You've now gone through all the steps required to get an interim family order in Supreme Court if you agree. Thank you for using our step-by-step guide.