Supreme Court

Write a Supreme Court order

Before you begin

This guide will help you write (draft) orders if you're a party in a family law case. It covers:

  • parenting;
  • child support;
  • spousal support; and
  • property (interim and final orders).

Every family law case is different. You may only need content from one of these sections, or you may use them all. The sample orders, clauses, provided on these issues are just examples. You may find they fit your situation perfectly. Or you may need to change them to reflect exactly what the judge ordered, or what you're asking the court to order.

This guide is based on the BC Family Law Act and the language it uses. See Parenting apart (for a list of these words and what they mean) and Which laws apply to your case?.

Before you begin using this guide, read our fact sheet Tips for writing Supreme Court orders. This page will provide you with some background information that's essential to drafting orders.

When you need to draft an order

If neither party has a lawyer, you may be in charge of drafting orders. You may be drafting orders in your family law case:

  • with or without a hearing, when you and the other party consented (agreed) to orders; or
  • after a trial or hearing, when a judge or master made orders.

Each of these situations involves a different type of court order, which must be set out on the correct form (see How to use this guide).

This guide contains clauses that can be used to draft any of these types of orders. If you're drafting an order after a trial or application, select only the clauses that reflect the orders made by the judge. Your order won't be approved if it doesn't accurately reflect what the judge said.

You can also use this guide if you're completing a Notice of Application for a Chambers application prior to trial. In the Notice of Application, you need to set out the orders you're applying for at your hearing. You can use this guide to create that list of orders.

Throughout this guide, we say to make sure your clauses reflect what the judge said. This is important if you've had a hearing or trial. But you can still use this guide if you're drafting orders before you've had your hearing or trial, and are writing the orders you're asking the court to make.

How to find out what was ordered

If you're not sure what the judge ordered, you can:

  • order a copy of the court clerk's notes,
  • order a transcript of the reasons for judgment, or
  • arrange to listen to the court's tapes of the reasons.
We use the word judge throughout this guide to refer to the person making the orders. But this could refer to either a judge or master, depending on your situation.