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Supreme or Provincial Court: Where Should I File My Family Court Application?

Once you have decided court is the right choice for you, you must then decide which court, supreme or provincial, is appropriate. Both provincial and supreme court are trial courts, meaning a Judge is present and hears arguments from you and your ex-spouse and makes a binding decisions. However, the courts differ in the issues they will preside over so it is important to pick wisely or you may experience a delay in obtaining a final resolution.

Provincial Court

If you are not planning to retain legal representation, provincial court is more user-friendly than supreme court. The steps are relatively straight-forward, the forms are simple and can be obtained at the court registry, and there are no filing fees. There are even free mediation services and parenting reports that can be ordered by the provincial court. Another bonus is that there are free duty counsel lawyers available once per week on family court days at the Nanaimo, Port Alberni, and Duncan courthouses to assist you in presenting your application to the court. Obtaining legal advice, even for a provincial court action, is always recommended. There are still Provincial Court Family Rules that must be followed and proper procedures to be aware of.