How to Prepare an Answer in a Family Law Matter

Updated November 2016

This How-To Brief outlines the steps to take when preparing an Answer in a family law matter.

1Review the Application

  • Review the Applicant's claims and the facts the Applicant has relied upon to substantiate those claims.
  • Determine which claims are being disputed and the facts you are relying upon to dispute those claims.
  • Review and determine which (if any) claims you will make against the Applicant or any other person and the facts you are relying upon to substantiate those claims.
  • Determine the date by which the Answer must be filed (within 30 days in Canada and 60 days outside Canada or the United States). Diarize accordingly.

2Review the legislation

  • Review Rules 10, 13 and 35.1 of the Family Law Rules.
  • Review the Divorce Act, the Family Law Act and the Children's Law Reform Act.
  • Review any other legislation relied upon in the Application.

3Prepare the Answer (and related documents)

  • Answer - (three copies): (Form 10)
    • Complete paragraph 1 of the Answer, outlining any claims not in dispute.
    • Complete paragraph 2 of the Answer, outlining the claims in dispute.
    • Ensure that the facts relied upon to dispute the claims are clearly and concisely set out.
  • Affidavit of Service: Form 6B
  • Financial Statement (three copies): Form 13 or 13.1. (See How-to Brief on How-to Prepare a Financial Statement)
  • Note: Required attachments to the Financial Statement include:
    • three (3) most recent Notices of Assessment;
    • or, if the documents are not readily available, then "income and deductions" printouts must be obtained from Canada Revenue Agency, telephone 1-800-959-8281.
  • Note: Whether or not an Answer is served and filed, if support or property or exclusive possession of the matrimonial home and its contents is claimed in the Application, a financial statement must be served and filed.
  • Form 35.1 Affidavit (three copies): if Applicant (or Respondent) is seeking custody or access
  • Updated Table of Contents (Continuing Record)

4Serve the Answer

  • Serve the Answer on all parties named in the Application and Answer along with the following documents, if applicable:
    • Financial Statement
    • Form 35.1 Affidavit
  • Review Rule 6 of the Family Law Rules to determine how the party(ies) can be served.
  • Complete the Affidavit of Service (Form 6B).

5File the Answer

  • File the documents that were served, along with the Affidavit of Service, at the court office within 30 days after the Application was served.
  • File the documents in the Continuing Record where appropriate. The remaining documents are filed in the court file.
  • Update the Table of Contents.
  • Cash or cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance (please check with local court office, or the regulations under the Administration of Justice Act, to confirm the fees for filing).

6Resources

7Statutes and Rules

8Other Resources