General No 1
Cases and courts to which rules apply
(2) These rules apply to all family law cases in the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice, in the Superior Court of Justice and in the Ontario Court of Justice,
(i) the Change of Name Act,
(ii) Parts V, VII and VIII of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017,
(iii) the Children’s Law Reform Act, except sections 59 and 60,
(iii.1) the Civil Marriage Act (Canada),
(iv) the Divorce Act (Canada),
(iv.1) the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (Canada),
(v) the Family Law Act, except Part V,
(vi) the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996,
(vii) section 6 of the Marriage Act, and
(viii) the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002;
(b) for the interpretation, enforcement or variation of a marriage contract, cohabitation agreement, separation agreement, paternity agreement, family arbitration agreement or family arbitration award;
(c) for a constructive or resulting trust or a monetary award as compensation for unjust enrichment between persons who have cohabited;
(d) for annulment of a marriage or a declaration of validity or invalidity of a marriage;
(e) for appeals of family arbitration awards under the Arbitration Act, 1991; and
(f) for proceedings under First Nation laws made under,
(i) the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (Canada), or
(ii) the First Nations Land Management Act (Canada), with respect to the effect of relationship breakdown on matrimonial real property. O. Reg. 441/99, s. 1 (2); O. Reg. 56/03, s. 1; O. Reg. 89/04, s. 1 (1); O. Reg. 388/12, s. 1; O. Reg. 226/17, s. 1; O. Reg. 385/18, s. 1.
(2.1) Revoked: O. Reg. 89/04, s. 1 (2).
Case management in Family Court of superior Court of Justice
(3) Despite subrule (2), rule 39 (case management in the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice) applies only to cases in the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice, which has jurisdiction in the following municipalities:
1. Regional Municipality of Durham.
2. County of Elgin.
3. County of Frontenac.
4. Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk.
5. County of Haliburton.
6. City of Hamilton.
7. County of Hastings.
8. City of Kawartha Lakes.
9. County of Lanark.
10. United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
11. County of Lennox and Addington.
12. County of Middlesex.
13. Territorial District of Muskoka.
14. Regional Municipality of Niagara.
15. County of Northumberland.
16. City of Ottawa.
17. County of Peterborough.
18. United Counties of Prescott and Russell.
19. County of Prince Edward.
20. County of Renfrew.
21. County of Simcoe.
22. United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
23. Regional Municipality of Waterloo.
24. Regional Municipality of York.
O. Reg. 93/19, s. 1 (1)
Case management in Ontario Court of Justice
(4) Despite subrule (2), rule 40 (case management in the Ontario Court of Justice) applies only to cases in the Ontario Court of Justice. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 1 (4).
Case management in the Superior Court of Justice
(4.1) Despite subrule (2), rule 41 (case management in the Superior Court of Justice, other than the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice) applies only to cases in the Superior Court of Justice that are not in the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice. O. Reg. 89/04, s. 1 (3).
Family law case combined with other matter
(5) If a case in the court combines a family law case to which these rules apply with another matter to which these rules would not otherwise apply, the parties may agree or the court on motion may order that these rules apply to the combined case or part of it. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 1 (5).
Conditions and directions
(6) When making an order, the court may impose conditions and give directions as appropriate. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 1 (6).
Matters not covered in rules
(7) If these rules do not cover a matter adequately, the court may give directions, and the practice shall be decided by analogy to these rules, by reference to the Courts of Justice Act and the Act governing the case and, if the court considers it appropriate, by reference to the Rules of Civil Procedure. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 1 (7).
Certain orders that may be made at any time
(7.1) For greater certainty, a court may make an order under subrule (7.2), (8), (8.1) or (8.2) at any time during a case, and the power to make such an order,
(a) is in addition to any other power to make an order that these rules may specify in the circumstances; and
(b) exists unless these rules expressly provide otherwise. O. Reg. 69/15, s. 1 (1).
(7.2) For the purposes of promoting the primary objective of these rules as required under subrules 2 (4) and, particularly, (5), the court may make orders giving such directions or imposing such conditions respecting procedural matters as are just, including an order,
(a) that a party give to another party an affidavit listing documents that are relevant to the issues in a case and that are in the party’s control or available to the party on request, or that a party make any other disclosure, within a specified time;
(b) limiting the number of affidavits that a party may file, or limiting the length of affidavits that a party may file (excluding any exhibits);
(c) that any motions be brought within a specified time;
(d) that a statement setting out what material facts are not in dispute be filed within a specified time (in which case the facts are deemed to be established unless a judge orders otherwise);
(e) that questioning be conducted in accordance with a plan established by the court, be subject to a time limit or be limited with respect to scope;
(f) limiting the number of witnesses;
(g) that all or part of an affidavit or any other evidence filed at any stage in a case, and any cross-examinations on it, may be used at a hearing;
(h) that a party serve and file, within a specified time, a written summary of the anticipated evidence of a witness;
(i) subject to subrule (7.3), that a party or witness give any or all of their evidence by affidavit or by another method not requiring attendance in person;
(i.1) subject to subrule (7.3.1), that all or any part of a case be heard using telephone or video technology;
(j) that oral evidence be presented, or that any oral evidence be subject to a time limit;
(k) that any expert witnesses for the parties meet to discuss the issues, and prepare a joint statement setting out the issues on which they agree and the issues that are in dispute;
(l) that a party serve and file a summary of argument;
(m) that a party provide to the court a draft order (Form 25, 25A, 25B, 25C or 25D) setting out the relief that he or she is seeking;
(n) identifying the issues to be decided at a particular hearing;
(o) that the parties appear before the court by a specified date;
(p) that a case be scheduled for trial or that a trial management conference be conducted; and
(q) that a trial be limited to a specified number of days and apportioning those days between the parties. O. Reg. 69/15, s. 1 (1); O. Reg. 152/21, s. 1 (1).
Giving of evidence
(7.3) An order made under clause (7.2) (i) does not apply to the giving of evidence on cross-examination unless the order states so expressly. O. Reg. 69/15, s. 1 (1).
Use of telephone or video technology
(7.3.1) In making an order under clause (7.2) (i.1) that telephone or video technology be used in a case, the court shall consider,
(a) the availability of telephone or video technology and the access of the parties, witnesses and lawyers to it;
(b) the impact of delay in not using telephone or video technology, including on any applicable timelines, particularly if the case involves a child;
(c) the effect of using telephone or video technology on the court’s ability to make findings, including determinations about the credibility of witnesses;
(d) whether a party, witness or lawyer is unable to attend in person; and
(e) any other relevant matter. O. Reg. 152/21, s. 1 (2).
Effect of order at trial
(7.4) An order made under subrule (7.2) respecting how a trial is to proceed applies unless the trial judge orders otherwise. O. Reg. 69/15, s. 1 (1).
Failure to obey order
(8) If a person fails to obey an order in a case or a related case, the court may deal with the failure by making any order that it considers necessary for a just determination of the matter, including,
(a) an order for costs;
(b) an order dismissing a claim;
(c) an order striking out any application, answer, notice of motion, motion to change, response to motion to change, financial statement, affidavit, or any other document filed by a party;
(d) an order that all or part of a document that was required to be provided but was not, may not be used in the case;
(e) if the failure to obey was by a party, an order that the party is not entitled to any further order from the court unless the court orders otherwise;
(f) an order postponing the trial or any other step in the case; and
(g) on motion, a contempt order. O. Reg. 322/13, s. 1.
Failure to follow rules
(8.1) If a person fails to follow these rules, the court may deal with the failure by making any order described in subrule (8), other than a contempt order under clause (8) (g). O. Reg. 322/13, s. 1.
Document that may delay or is inflammatory, etc.
(8.2) The court may strike out all or part of any document that may delay or make it difficult to have a fair trial or that is inflammatory, a waste of time, a nuisance or an abuse of the court process. O. Reg. 322/13, s. 1.
(8.3) Revoked: O. Reg. 69/15, s. 1 (2).
Consequences of striking out certain documents
(8.4) If an order is made striking out a party’s application, answer, motion to change or response to motion to change in a case, the following consequences apply unless a court orders otherwise:
1. The party is not entitled to any further notice of steps in the case, except as provided by subrule 25 (13) (service of order).
2. The party is not entitled to participate in the case in any way.
3. The court may deal with the case in the party’s absence.
4. A date may be set for an uncontested trial of the case. O. Reg. 322/13, s. 1.
Reference to forms
(9) In these rules, when a form is referred to by number, the reference is to the form with that number that is described in the Table of Forms at the end of these rules and is available on the Internet through www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca. O. Reg. 76/06, s. 1 (1).
Use of forms
(9.1) The forms authorized by these rules and set out in the Table of Forms shall be used where applicable and may be adjusted as needed to fit the situation. O. Reg. 76/06, s. 1 (1).
Requirements for completing forms
(9.2) A party who is required by these rules to provide a form shall, subject to subrule (9.1),
(a) follow the instructions set out in the form;
(b) fully complete all portions of the form; and
(c) attach to the form any documents that the form requires. O. Reg. 69/15, s. 1 (3).
Format of written documents
(10) Every written document in a case,
(a) shall be legibly typed or printed; and
(b) in the case of a document in paper format,
(i) shall be on white paper, or on white or nearly white paper with recycled paper content, and
(ii) may appear on one or both sides of the page. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 1 (10); O. Reg. 142/14, s. 1.
(c) Revoked: O. Reg. 142/14, s. 1.
O. Reg. 114/99, r. 1 (10); O. Reg. 142/14, s. 1.
Certification of documents
(10.1) The clerk may provide electronic certified copies of documents that are in a court file. O. Reg. 522/21, s. 1.
(11) In subrules (12) and (12.1),
“practice direction” means a direction, notice, memorandum or guide for the purpose of governing, subject to these rules, the conduct of cases in any area. O. Reg. 561/07, s. 1; O. Reg. 320/22, s. 1 (1).
Requirements for practice direction
(12) A practice direction shall be approved in advance by the Chief Justice or Chief Judge of the court, filed with the secretary of the Family Rules Committee and posted on the Ontario Courts website. O. Reg. 561/07, s. 1; O. Reg. 93/19, s 1 (2).
Effective date of practice direction
(12.1) A practice direction does not come into effect before it is filed and posted as described in subrule (12). O. Reg. 561/07, s. 1; O. Reg. 93/19, s 1 (3).
(12.2) Revoked: O. Reg. 320/22, s. 1 (2).
General transition rules, CYFSA
(13) The following rules apply in relation to cases commenced but not concluded under the Child and Family Services Act before its repeal:
1. If regulations made under paragraph 11 of subsection 339 (1) of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 provide for the continued application of any portion of the repealed Act to such cases, these rules, as they read immediately before the Act’s repeal, continue to apply with respect to the continued application of that portion of the repealed Act.
2. If regulations made under paragraph 11 of subsection 339 (1) of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 provide that a reference in that Act to a matter shall be read as including a matter in the Child and Family Services Act, a reference in these rules to that matter in the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 shall be read as including that matter in the Child and Family Services Act. O. Reg. 298/18, s. 1.
(14) Revoked: O. Reg. 76/06, s. 1 (2).