British Columbia Family Practice Manual

Practice Point

Your A to Z guide family law practice and procedure

This publication is essential for: lawyers who need to understand family law practice and procedure.

There are many decisions to make about how to proceed in a family law file—which Act applies, should you mediate or start an action, and which court should you proceed in practice and procedure along the way. Let the British Columbia Family Practice Manual be your guide to the choices to make, the steps to follow in a process, the time limits that govern, and the forms you need to complete.

With analysis of case law on procedural issues as well as specialized chapters on indigenous family law issues, adoption, and child protection, this manual provides you with the direction you need to confidently advise and manage your family law clients’ issues.

With this resource, you will be able to:

  • smoothly navigate family law processes such as settlement, obtaining interim relief, trial and trial alternatives, obtaining costs, drafting and enforcing orders, and appeals
  • save time drafting court documents by accessing over 200 family law forms and precedents
  • effectively maintain your family law files by using file management checklists

Buy today and have the support you need to run your family law practice!

Highlights of the 2023 Update:

  • discussion of significant decisions over the past year, including Barendregt v. Grebliunas, 2022 SCC 22, and updates regarding new and amended statutory provisions, processes, and forms and precedents relevant to family practice
  • revised discussion and recent case law on “habitual residence,” special and extraordinary expenses, appropriateness of summary trial, variation of interim orders, duress with respect to family agreements, and costs, including offers to settle and special costs in the context of non-disclosure
  • new discussion on the Child Support Recalculation Service, the Informal Trial Pilot Project, and interim relocation orders at Provincial Court
  • new rules and procedure regarding protection orders and approval and execution of orders at BC Supreme Court
  • updated information on filing notices of property agreements at the Land Title Office, including cancellation and postponement
  • commentary on amendments to the Adoption Act and Child, Family and Community Service Act arising from the Indigenous Self-Government in Child and Family Services Amendment Act
  • updated case law on Indigenous family law issues, including determination of child support and court involvement in determining Indigenous identity and heritage
  • revised material and guidance related to practice and procedure for family law cases at the Court of Appeal, given the repeal and replacement of the Court of Appeal Act and Court of Appeal Rules
  • new and updated forms and precedents, including revised Court of Appeal forms; new Forms 10.2 Consent Adjournment and 10.5 Application to Change Method Attendance under the Provincial Court (Child, Family and Community Service Act) Rules; and amended Form F54 Order Terminating Protection Order and new Form F32.1 Order Signing Instructions under the Supreme Court Family Rules

Editorial Board 

The Honourable Madam Justice Margot Fleming — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
The Honourable Judge Robin McQuillan — Provincial Court of BC, Vancouver
Todd R. Bell — Farris LLP, Vancouver
Chantal M. Cattermole — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Annie C. Kaderly — Aaron Gordon Daykin Nordlinger LLP, Vancouver
Jane M. Reid — Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver


Fiona M. Beveridge — Fiona Beveridge Family Law, Vancouver
Alex R.H. Chan — Henderson Heinrichs LLP, Vancouver
Alison Colpitts — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
James M.W. Cudmore — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Cassandra E. Drake — Lindsay Kenney LLP, Vancouver
Fiona S. Gow — Ministry of Attorney General, Legal Services Branch, Victoria
David C. Halkett — McQuarrie Hunter LLP, Surrey
Julia M. Hibbard — Hayward Sheppard, Vancouver
Shelagh M. Kinney — Watson Goepel LLP, Vancouver
Lauren B. Morris — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver
Delia Jane Ramsbotham — Sunrise Family Services Society, North Vancouver
Crystal Reeves — Mandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver
Angie Riano — Dentons LLP, Vancouver
Peter F. Schmidt — BTM Lawyers LLP, Port Moody
Alicia Singh — Ministry of Health—Health Sector Information, Analysis and Reporting Division, Victoria
Clare Sparks — Horne Coupar LLP, Victoria
Brandon St. Pierre — Aaron Gordon Daykin Nordlinger LLP, Vancouver
Johanna M. Stein — Coal Harbour Law, Vancouver
Josephine Wong — Hayward Sheppard, Vancouver
Fanda Wu — Lindsay Kenney LLP, Vancouver

Volume 1

1. Conducting a Family Law Practice

2. Building Effective Relationships

3. Assessing the Legal Issues

4. Gathering Information

5. Working Toward Settlement

6. Recording a Settlement

7. Commencing Proceedings

8. Using Conferences Effectively

9. Obtaining Court-ordered Interim Relief

10. Obtaining Discovery

11. Using Alternatives to Trial

12. Conducting a Family Law Trial in Supreme Court

13. Obtaining Court-ordered Costs

14. Practising in Provincial Court

15. Drafting Supreme Court Orders

16. Varying Orders and Challenging Family Agreements in Supreme Court

17. Enforcing Orders and Agreements

18. Conducting Appeals of Supreme Court Orders

19. Child Protection Practice and Procedure

20. Adopting Procedure

21. Naming

22. Indigenous Family Law Issues

Volume 2


Forms and Precedents

Limitation Periods

Case Table
Statutes and Related Material Table

“It happens to all of us. You wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night with an issue running through your head. Who you gonna call? Don’t worry. Ease your mind. It will be okay. First thing in the morning, pull out CLEBC’s British Columbia Family Practice Manual. There you will find the answer.

Organized, in a practical format, is the latest information with respect to all of the elements of a family law case. Still feeling a bit uneasy? Look at the list of editorial board members and contributing authors. It is a “who’s who” of dispute resolution professionals in British Columbia. They have taken the time and applied their considerable expertise in ensuring the manual is up to date with references to the most current case authorities. The manual is a must have reference tool. Don’t delay! Get it now!”

Colin A. Millar, Q.Arb,  Partner, Richards Buell Sutton LLP