This blog will help answer some questions asked by clients when they meet with one of our family law lawyers after being served with an Application completed by their former spouse/partner. The issues addressed within this blog include:
You may have been recently served with a Court Application by your former spouse/partner. The question that many people have after receiving an Application is how to respond. Any person against whom an Application is made is required to serve an Answer.
Similar to an Application which sets out the relief/orders being sought by your former spouse/partner and the reasons they are seeking such relief/orders, an Answer includes the following information:
It is critical to understand that your Form 10 Answer is one of the most significant forms that you will complete during the court process. As noted above, it sets out the claims you are making and the reasons for making such claims. In the event that you do not seek certain substantive orders in your Answer, a Court will not grant such relief at a later court appearance. To that end, if you forget to include certain relief, you will be required to amend your Answer and there may be cost consequences (i.e. you may have to pay costs to your former spouse as they may need to serve a Reply or revise their Reply in response to the amendments made).
All of our lawyers at Morrison Williams practice exclusively in the area of family law. Their experience and knowledge will help you navigate through the court process and ensure that your Answer addresses all issues arising from your separation. Do not hesitate to reach out to Morrison Williams to schedule a consultation if you are contemplating commencing an Application or have been served with an Application by your former spouse/partner.
In order to respond to a Family Court Application, you will need to complete some or all of the following documents:
You may have been served recently with an Application by your former spouse/partner and may know the Forms you need to complete, but are not aware of the timeline to serve and file your Answer. According to Rule 10(1) of the Family Law Rules, a person against whom an Application is made shall serve an Answer on every other party and file it within thirty (30) days after being served with the Application.
If, however, the Application is served outside of Canada or the United States of America, the time for serving and filing an Answer is sixty (60) days.
If you are seeking to serve and file an Amended Answer, you may require either the Court’s permission or the consent of the other party. If, however, you have been served with an Amended Application, you may serve and file an Amended Answer within fourteen (14) days of being served with the Amended Application.
Any revisions/amendments to the Answer must be clearly identified in accordance with the Family Law Rules.
Are you contemplating not responding to the Application that was served on you or has your spouse not served and filed their Answer? If a party has failed to serve and/or file an Answer, the following consequences apply unless a Court orders otherwise:
That is, if you elect not to serve an Answer, your former spouse/partner may proceed on an uncontested basis. A Court will still hear the issues raised by your former spouse/partner in the Application and make Orders regarding such issues in your absence. To that end, if your former spouse/partner has sought such relief in their Application, a Court may make Orders that include, but not limited to, decision-making responsibility for the children, a parenting schedule, child support, spousal support, sale of a matrimonial home, and equalization.
If you have been served by your former spouse/partner with an Answer, you may, within ten (10) days of being served, complete a Reply (Form 10A) in response to the claim(s) made in the Answer.
If you have been served with a Family Court Application, reach out to Morrison Williams to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to: