After a family law agreement has been signed, you or the other person may want to enforce it because the agreement isn’t being followed. Or, you may want to change it because circumstances have changed for you, them, or your child. If you and the other person can’t agree about changing the agreement, you can make a court application. The court can set aside (cancel) all of the agreement, or it can set aside the part of the agreement that has to change and replace it with a court order.
Before you can apply to enforce or set aside part or all of your agreement, it needs to be filed with the court. Either you or the other party can file a written agreement about parenting arrangements, contact with a child, child support, and/or spousal support.
Filing an agreement is simple:
- Make a copy of your signed agreement.
- Fill out the Requisition Form F17.1). The Requisition is a request to file the agreement. When you fill out the Requisition, you'll be the claimant, and the other party will be the respondent. These labels are used even if you're filing the agreement with no plans to start a court application.
- Take the Requisition, a copy of your agreement, and the $30 filing fee to the courthouse. You can file your agreement at the Supreme Court registry where an existing case between you is filed. If no court action has been started, you can file at the registry closest to where you live. Here is a list of Supreme Court registry addresses. Fees sometimes change so call the registry or check the Supreme Court Family Rules to confirm the amount. The filing fee can be paid in cash, by credit card, online, or with a certified cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance. Many court registries will also take debit cards, but check first.
- A clerk at the registry will check that the agreement is complete, collect the filing fees, and stamp the agreement with the court seal. If a court action has already been started, they'll put the agreement into your court file. If no court action has been started, the registry will stamp a court file number on your agreement when you file it. This has the effect of starting a family law case.
You can now take steps to enforce or set aside part or all of your agreement, or just leave the agreement in the court file and wait until later. See How do you change an agreement? for more information about this.