Filing a document

Filing a document means that you give staff at the court a copy (usually the original) of any documents you have collected and completed during your case.

Generally, when filing documents in a family court case, you need to:

  1. choose the appropriate court
  2. find out if you have to pay court fees to file your documents
  3. start or update the Continuing Record in your case
  4. file your documents

Choose the appropriate court

There are rules about where you can start your family court case. Learn more about choosing the appropriate municipality and court for your case.

If you are a respondent who has been served with an application, file your responding documents at the court location written on the documents you were served with.

If you are involved in an ongoing case, file your documents at the same court you previously filed or appeared at.

Court filing fees

If you are going to court in Ontario, you may have to pay fees during the process.

In family law cases, there may be a fee to file documents at the Superior Court of Justice or the Family Court Branch of the Superior Court of Justice. For example:

  • if you are starting a new case, there may be a fee of $214 to file an application
  • if you are responding to an application, there may be a fee of $171 or $214 to file an answer, depending on whether you’re asking for a divorce
  • there may be a fee of $445 to schedule an application for a hearing

These are only some of the fees you may need to pay in a family court case. Learn more about family court fees.

If you can’t afford to pay your court filing fees, you can apply to have your fees waived by completing and filing a fee waiver request form. The court will look at your financial situation and decide whether you’re eligible. If you’re eligible for a fee waiver, you won’t have to pay most fees. You will be given a certificate which you must show to court staff when you go to file a document with the court. Learn more about fee waivers and how to ask for one.

There is no fee to file documents at the Ontario Court of Justice.

Online document filing

You can submit most family court documents online using the Ministry of the Attorney General’s online filing service.