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 2019 update

  • Significant legislative revisions to the Child, Family and Community Service Act and Rules with respect to child protection proceedings involving Indigenous children
  • Details of the new Victoria Early Resolution and Case Management Model in the Victoria Provincial Court registry effective May 13, 2019
  • Revisions to enforcement methods under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, including restrictions on drivers’ licences, and the new filing of notices of maintenance orders in the land title office
  • Discussion of significant decisions over the past year, including decisions regarding:
    • the authority of parenting coordinators
    • the Supreme Court of Canada settling the “hybrid” approach to determining a child’s habitual residence, and the approach to a child’s views in Hague Convention applications
    • the meaning of “habitual residence” under the Family Law Act
    • when the obligation to pay child and spousal support continues after death
    • disclosure obligations, and the consequences for failure to meet them
    • property and support issues for Indigenous clients
    • the Supreme Court’s inherent jurisdiction, including its parens patriae jurisdiction
    • conflict of laws pertaining to jurisdiction over family property claims
  • Updated forms relevant to family practice

Editorial Board 

The Honourable Mr. Justice G. Bruce Butler — Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver
Todd R. Bell — Schuman Daltrop Basran & Robin, Vancouver
The Honourable Judge Rose Raven — Provincial Court of British Columbia, Surrey
Chantal M. Cattermole — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Jane Reid — Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver
Meghan Selinger  — Hamilton Fabbro, Vancouver


Fiona S. Gow —‎ BC Public Service, Vancouver
Fiona M. Beveridge — Watson Goepel, Vancouver
Jane Reid — Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver
Zara Suleman — Suleman Family Law, North Vancouver
Todd R. Bell — Schuman Daltrop Basran & Robin, Vancouver
Phyllis Maurene Kenney, Q.C. — Phyllis Kenney, Vancouver
Angie N. Riano — Henderson Heinrichs LLP, Vancouver
Robert S. Gill — Clay & Company, Victoria
Ingrid Bloomfield — Regional Manager, BC Public Service, Vancouver
Alex Chan — Henderson Heinrichs LLP, Vancouver
Anne Demeulemeester — Aaron Gordon Daykin Nordlinger LLP, Vancouver
Kelsey K. Beazer — Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver
Monika Follett — Monika R. Follett Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver
Julia Hibbard — Hayward Sheppard, Vancouver
Rain A. Henderson — Henderson Heinrichs LLP, Vancouver
David C. Halkett — McQuarrie LLP, Surrey, British Columbia
Crystal Reeves — Mandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver
Chantal M. Cattermole Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver

Part 1—Child Support Guidelines

1. Annotated Federal Child Support Guidelines

Part 2—Divorce Act, Family Law Act, and Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

2. Divorce Act (Canada)

3. Annotated Family Law Act

4. Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines [excerpts]

Part 3—Court Rules

5. Supreme Court Family Rules

6. Court of Appeal Rules

7. Provincial Court (Family) Rules

8. Annotated Provincial Court (Child, Family and Community Service Act) Rules

Part 4—Practice Directions

9. Family Law Practice Directions

10. Select Civil Practice Directions That Apply to Family Law Cases

11. [has been deleted]

Part 5—Statutes

12. Adoption Act

13. Annotated Child, Family and Community Service Act

14. Court of Appeal Act [excerpts]

15. Evidence Act [excerpts]

16. Family Maintenance Enforcement Act

17. Income Tax Act (Canada) [excerpts]

18. Infants Act

19. Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act

20. Land (Spouse Protection) Act

21. Marriage Act

22. Name Act

23. Partition of Property Act

Part 6 — Regulations

24. Adoption Regulation

25. Annotated Child, Family and Community Service Regulation

26. Division of Pensions Regulation

27. Family Law Act Regulation

28. Family Maintenance Enforcement Act Regulation

29. Interjurisdictional Support Orders Regulation

30. Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation

Case 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