Most documents that you file in your case must be included in the Continuing Record, which is kept in your court file at the courthouse. Usually, you and every other party share one Continuing Record for the case.

Parties are responsible for creating and updating the Continuing Record in their case. The Continuing Record is created so you, the other party, and the judge can find your documents easily when they are needed during your court case.

Parts of the Continuing Record

A Continuing Record usually has two parts, called volumes:

  1. the endorsement volume, which must have a yellow cover page, includes:
    • A table of contents, which lists all the documents in your case that have been filed with the court. You must update the table of contents every time you file a document with the court.
    • Any endorsements or orders that the judge makes in your case. An endorsement is written direction from a judge that says what you must do or not do. It is usually handwritten and put in your court file.
  2. The documents volume, which must have a red cover page, includes most documents filed in your case, such as applications, answers, financial statements, motions, affidavits, and trial management conference briefs. Case conference briefs and settlement conference briefs do not form part of the Continuing Record, unless a judge orders otherwise.

Rule 9 of the Family Law Rules and the Formal Requirements of the Continuing Record under the Family Law Rules tell you how to create and update your Continuing Record.

Creating the Continuing Record

The person who starts a family court case (the applicant) is responsible for creating the Continuing Record for the case.

If you have a lawyer, they will create the Continuing Record for you. If you do not have a lawyer, court staff can give you the documents you need to create a Continuing Record, or you can find them online.

After you create the Continuing Record, you will need to:

  • keep the original version in your court file at the courthouse
  • serve a copy on the respondent and every other party in the case so they know it has been created

If somebody else filed the application or motion, you will add your documents to the Continuing Record that they already created for the case.

Updating the Continuing Record

Each time you and the other party serve a document on each other and file it at the court, you will need to update the Table of Contents in the Continuing Record.

Generally, when you file a document with the court:

  • court staff will hand you the Continuing Record from your court file so you can add your document
  • you put the original copy in the Continuing Record (you should have already made at least two copies of the document – one for yourself and one that was already served on the other party in the case)
  • you must update the table of contents by listing each document you are filing
  • file your documents in chronological order, which means the most recently filed document should be at the back of the Continuing Record
  • use numbered tabs (which you can find at most court locations or buy at most office supply stores) to identify each document filed in sequential order
  • you give the Continuing Record back to court staff so they can return it to your court file

Court staff can help you determine where each document goes in the Continuing Record.

Checking the Continuing Record

If you need to check something in the Continuing Record, you can go to the courthouse where the record is located and ask the clerk to see your court file.

However, it is best to make sure you keep a copy of every document you and the other party in your case files with the court. This allows you to keep track of your case yourself, without going to the court every time you need to check your records.

Exception for documents filed electronically

The Continuing Record rules are different if you file a divorce application electronically using the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Family Claims Online filing service.

Generally, divorce applications filed electronically do not need a Continuing Record, unless you are required or intend to give documents to the court in paper format. In these circumstances, the Continuing Record rules apply to you as if you were the party who started the case (unless the court orders otherwise).

See Rule 36 of the Family Law Rules for more information about the Continuing Record requirements for documents filed online.