Coming soon! New BC Provincial Court Family Rules starting May 17, 2021

New BC Provincial Court Family Rules Starting May 17, 2021

By Justice Services Branch, the Ministry of Attorney General, British Columbia

What’s happening? 

On May 17, 2021, a full new set of Provincial Court Family Rules (PCFR) will be implemented. The rules were updated when the Family Law Act was implemented in 2013, however, the last substantial reform of the PCFR was in 1998.

What is changing? 

There are substantial changes to forms, terminology, and processes. 

Why are the rules changing? 

The new rules aim to help families to reduce conflict and work towards earlier resolutions outside the court process, make court process and forms user friendly, and make each court appearance meaningful and productive. The Ministry of Attorney General and the Provincial Court jointly led the modernization of the rules supported by a dedicated working group and informed by a public consultation.   

What are these rules used for?  

The rules apply in Provincial Court to: 

  • (a) FLA family law matters (parenting arrangements, child support, contact with a child, guardianship of a child, spousal support);
  • (b) protection orders under the Family Law Act;
  • (c) priority parenting matters;
  • (d) relocation; and
  • (e) enforcement, including enforcement of support orders under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act. 

The PCFR do not apply to child protection matters, adoption, divorce, property or pension division.

What are some key points? 

  • Know your registry. An existing case with the same parties can continue in the same registry, but new cases (if the issue is child-related) will be filed in the registry closest to where the child lives most of the time and if there is no child-related issue involved, then the registry closest to where the filing party lives. 
  • The Notice of Motion is being replaced by subject specific forms. 
  • The Family Management Conference becomes the first step in court proceedings about family law matters to provide active case management and meaningful, better utilized, court appearances.
  • Priority matters, including protection orders have distinct processes and forms to address those applications in a timely manner.

What about transition?

The new rules are effective province-wide May 17, 2021. Cases started before that will carry on under the new rules. The new forms must be used as of May 17, 2021; the only exception is a short grace period allowed for the old version of the Reply and Financial Statement.

Where do I find the new rules and forms? 

The new rules and forms are in BC Reg 120/2020 (please use the consolidated version). Upon implementation, the new forms will be available on the provincial family court forms page of the BC government website.  After implementation, we will also begin to offer several key forms in a user-friendly online app format.

Where can I find out more?

A section by section explanation of the new rules can be found in Provincial Court Family Rules (PCFR) Explained (also listed on Clicklaw). For family lawyers, a CLE about the new PCFR will be held on April 20, 2021 with several rebroadcasts scheduled for May, June and July. Upon implementation, additional information will be available on the websites of the BC government, the Provincial Court of BC and public legal information and education sites such as or Legal Aid BC’s Family Law in BC website.

(May 12, 2021) A note from Clicklaw Editor: For plain language resources, check out the list on Clicklaw’s common question How do the new Provincial Court Family Rules affect my family law matter? (

Stay informed:


Public consultation open for a proposed new approach for the Provincial Court Family Rules and forms

by BC Ministry of Attorney General

The public is invited to provide written comments on the policy direction, draft language, and specific consultation questions embedded in the discussion paper. Find it at:

Feedback received before December 16, 2019 will be considered in finalizing the Rules.

The Provincial Court Family Rules (the rules) are used to manage cases and resolve issues within the jurisdiction of the provincial court (parenting arrangements, child support, contact with a child, guardianship of a child and spousal support). The rules also apply to enforcement of child and spousal support under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act (FMEA). 

The Ministry of Attorney General and the Provincial Court of British Columbia invite comments on the proposed new Provincial Court Family Rules and forms. Feedback will be considered in finalizing the rules, which will be reviewed with the Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group and Steering Committee, the Chief Judge and eventually prepared as an Order in Council for consideration by cabinet.

Comments may be provided in the following ways:

  • Email:           
  • Fax:                        250-356-2721
  • Regular mail:       Family Policy Legislation & Transformation

Justice Services Branch
Ministry of Attorney General
PO Box 9222, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.  V8W 9J1

The ministry will assume that comments received are not confidential and that respondents consent to the ministry attributing their comments to them and to the release or publication of their submissions. Any requests for confidentiality or anonymity, must be clearly marked and will be respected to the extent permitted by freedom of information legislation.

Please note that the deadline for providing feedback is December 16, 2019.