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Family Court: Serving the Public

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In order to best serve the public, the Ontario Court of Justice developed a family scheduling policy for the Court. This policy provides guidelines and best practices for the judiciary when scheduling family matters.

All family cases in Ontario are required to follow the Family Law Rules. These are rules of procedure for family cases while a case is in Court. There are 43 rules in total and each rule addresses a specific issue. For example, rule 34 deals exclusively with adoption cases.

The following forms must also be used in Court. Each form has a number that corresponds with a Family Law Rule. For example, Form 34 is used for adoption cases.

  • Forms (Family Law Rules, O. Reg. 114/99)
  • Forms (Related family forms regulated by Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996)

The Guide for Self-Represented Litigants in Family Court Trials and Definitions of Words Commonly Used in Family Law Cases.

Family Court Support Worker Program

The Ministry of the Attorney General’s Family Court Support Worker program keeps victims of domestic violence informed and protected throughout the family court process.

Specialized Court at the Ontario Court of Justice

The Ontario Court of Justice has a proud tradition of opening specialized courts. The Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDVC) is one example of a specialized court. The IDVC provides one judge per family when that family is facing a domestic violence charge and is going through a separation. Information about the IDVC is available online.

Language Rights

If you or one of your witnesses requires an interpreter for a scheduled court date, immediately advise the court office where your case is scheduled to be heard.  The Ministry of the Attorney General provides interpreters for those people who qualify for a fee waiver, are French-speaking or need visual language interpretation or if the Court orders an interpreter.  You can find more information about interpreters on the Ministry’s website.

For more information on French language rights, please consult the Ministry of the Attorney General’s French Language Services website and the publication, Justice in Both Languages.