When parties decide to litigate, they may bring their action by way of Form 8: Application (General). Within the Application, parties will provide a family history, outline their claims against the opposing party, and state the important facts supporting their claims. The party bringing the Application is the Applicant. The Application is the Applicant’s first chance to put forward their case to the opposing party and to the court. After completing the Application, it is served upon the opposing party and filed with the court.
The party being served with an Application becomes the Respondent as they must respond to the claims set out in the Applicant’s Application. The Respondent responds to the Application by way of Form 10: Answer. The Answer is a way for the Respondent to agree or disagree with the claims set out by the Applicant in their Application and a way for the Respondent to bring their own claims against the Applicant. Similar to the Application, the Respondent must state the important facts supporting their claims. After completing the Answer, the Respondent must serve the Applicant with the Answer and file it with the court within 30 days of receiving the Application. Failing which, the Respondent may be noted in default and the Applicant may proceed on an uncontested basis.
After being served with the Respondent’s Answer, the Applicant may complete a Form 10A: Reply. The Reply is a chance for the Applicant to respond to any claims made by the Respondent. The Reply is optional and no new information should be included.
When parties include claims for custody or access, a Form 35.1: Affidavit in Support of Claim for Custody or Access must be completed. This form outlines the party’s relationship with the child and can be used to assess how appropriate the party would be as a caregiver. This form must be served and filed with the Application or Answer.
When parties include claims for child support or spousal support a Form: 13 Financial Statement (Support Claims) must be completed. If parties include a claim for the division of property, a Form 13.1: Financial Statement (Property and Support Claims) must be completed. A Financial Statement is a form that discloses each party’s income, expenses, assets, and debts. It is noted that in addition to attaching proof of income, each party is to attach a copy of their Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment for the past three years. This form must be served with the Application or Answer.
During the course of litigation, a party may seek temporary relief by bringing a Motion by way of Form 14: Notice of Motion. The party bringing the Motion will set out the Orders sought in the Notice of Motion and support the Orders sought with an Affidavit. A Motion may only be brought after the first Case Conference has been held. However, under dire circumstances, Urgent Motions may be brought on short notice or before a Case Conference, provided it meet the threshold. For more information, please see Rosen v. Rosen, 2005 ONSC.
A Form 14A: Affidavit General is a form that anyone can complete. It is a form wherein the writer swears the truth of its contents and must be sworn by being signed in front of a family lawyer, justice of the peace, notary public or commissioner for taking affidavits.