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What is a continuing record and how do I prepare one for my family law court case?

The continuing record is your family law court file that has every document you and your partner want the court to look at. It is kept at the courthouse.

There are Family Law Rules that tell you what is needed at every step in a court case. Rule 9: Continuing record says that you must file every document in your case in a continuing record so that the judge can find it easily when it's needed.

The continuing record has 2 parts:

  • The endorsement volume has all the endorsements and court orders the judge made in your case. An endorsement is the written directions a judge gives you and your partner that says what you must do or not do.
  • The documents volume has most of the documents you and your partner file in your case.

If you are the applicant, you start the continuing record and keep adding your documents to it. If you are the respondent you add your documents to the continuing record your partner started.

If you don't have a lawyer, court staff can help you add your documents to the continuing record.

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Next Steps: 

1. Learn how to prepare a continuing record

The continuing record usually has 2 parts:

  • The endorsement volume has all the endorsements and court orders the judge made in your case. An endorsement is the written directions a judge gives you and your partner that says what you must do or not do.
  • The documents volume has most of the documents you and your partner file in your case. For example, your Applications, Answers, Replies, affidavits of service, financial statements, motions, affidavits, and trial management conference briefs. It does not include case conference briefs or settlement conference briefs.

It is not necessary to start a separate endorsement volume in the following types of cases:

  • Joint applications for divorce
  • Uncontested divorces where the only claim is for a divorce and the respondent does not file an answer
  • When the applicant files Form 15A: Change Information Form and the respondent does not file an affidavit
  • A consent motion for a final order

The continuing records for these cases must have a separate section for endorsements and one blank sheet of paper for the judge to write their decision and the date.

2. Prepare the continuing record

Volumes

Each new application or motion to change a final order starts a new volume to the continuing record. Each new volume is numbered sequentially.

Record Cover

The endorsements volume will have a yellow cover that includes the court file number and names of the parties in the case.

The documents volume will have a red cover.

Contents of the Continuing Record

Table of contents

There will be one table of contents in the endorsements volume. In it, you and your partner:

  • list all documents in your case in the order they are filed
  • write the volume where the document is located
  • write the tab number that locates the document
  • write the kind of document, for example, an Affidavit of Service
  • write which party filed the document, for example the applicant or the respondent
  • write the date the document is filed

Endorsements

The endorsements section of the endorsements volume must be identified by a tab or divider. It will have at least three blank sheets of paper for the judge to write their decision, reasons if any, and the date.

Orders

The orders section of the endorsements volume must be identified by a tab or divider. It will have all the orders made in your case.

Documents

The documents volume has most of the documents you and your partner file in your case, including Applications, Answers, Replies, affidavits of service, financial statements, motions, affidavits, and trial management conference briefs. It does not include case conference briefs or settlement conference briefs.

3. Add documents

Add documents

Usually you file the original copy of a document with the court. You make copies for you and your partner.

Documents are added to the continuing record after they are served on the other person.

Documents are filed in chronological order, with the most recently filed documents at the back. In most cases a numbered tab must identify each document filed. Tabs must be in sequential order.

Update the table of contents

When you add a document to the continuing record, you also have to update the table of contents by listing each document you're filing.

Court staff can help you figure out where each document goes in the continuing record.

Make sure you keep a copy of every document you and your partner fill out. This allows you to keep track of your case yourself. You won't have to go to the court to ask the court clerk to get your file if you need to check something.

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Reviewed: 
September, 2015

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