The BC Supreme Court has provided new resources to help you draft family law orders and Notice of Applications. To get the correct order, you have to tell the court what you want, which you do by filing a draft order at the court registry. This can be confusing, as there are many different types of orders. The Supreme Court has created a downloadable Family Order Picklist of approved standard terms which you can copy into your draft order, and then edit with your own details where needed. You can download the picklist in PDF or Word format.
When you copy these standard terms from the picklist, you’ll be using the correct legal language. For example, if you’re drafting a Divorce Order, you’d copy the following text from the picklist and type in your details inside the square brackets.
Subject to s. 12 of the Divorce Act (Canada), the Claimant, [name], and the Respondent, [name], who were married at [location] on [date], are divorced from each other. The divorce to take effect on the 31st day after the date of this order.
Using the correct legal language is important when drafting an order. The order must speak for itself, which means it must be clear and understandable. A confusing draft order might be rejected by the district deputy registrars. In fact, problems with family law orders are common, and some are never formalized.
Other resources for drafting Supreme Court orders
Use the picklist with other resources developed to help you draft family law orders, such as the Tips for drafting a Supreme Court order fact sheet on the Family Law in BC.
The BC Provincial Court also has a picklist of approved standard terms to help you draft family law orders. See also Tips about Provincial Court orders.