Legal Office Procedures - Family Law

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
OADM 1327
Legal Office Procedures - Family Law
Office Administration
Commerce & Business Administration
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hours per week Seminar: 2 hours per week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

A combination of lectures, guided practices, assignments, case studies and research assignments will be used.  Active learning is an integral part of this course, and emphasis will be placed on a “hands-on” environment to allow students to work both independently and collaboratively to learn and apply procedures and tasks carried on in a legal office.  Both learning activities and evaluations will be structured to stress problem solving, accuracy, and working within time constraints.

Course Description
This course introduces the student to the role and responsibilities of a Legal Administrative Assistant employed in the field of family law in British Columbia. Students will gain knowledge and practical experience in topics such as statutes and rules, divorce and family courts, marriage in B.C., pre-nuptial and separation agreements, undefended and defended divorce actions, chambers applications, annulment, change of name, adoption and applications to Provincial Court. This is a “hands-on” course in which the students integrate keyboard, computer, document formatting and transcription skills, with a knowledge of family law.
Course Content
  1. Historical Overview: historical developments in family law
  2. Overview: why the family law client is unique
  3. Opening family law files
  4. The Divorce Act: grounds for divorce, bars to divorce, forms of divorce (undefended, joint, defended), jurisdiction
  5. The Family Law Act: relief available, importance of provisions concerning division of family property, jurisdiction
  6. Types of family law agreements
  7. Application of the Supreme Court Family Rules
  8. Financial disclosure
  9. Child support: Child Support Guidelines
  10. Simple calculations of child support amounts
  11. Preparation of documents in support of a joint divorce
  12. Preparation of documents in support of an undefended divorce
  13. Preparation of documents in support of a defended divorce
  14. Family law court document preparation using specialized litigation software
  15. Divorce order: preparation, approval by counsel
Learning Outcomes

The learner has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. read and understand the relevant statutory materials, the Supreme Court Family Rules, the Divorce Act, and the Family Law Act;
  2. identify the distinct applications of the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act;
  3. recognize the primary relief available under the Divorce Act and the Family Relations Act;
  4. prepare family law agreements;
  5. identify the rules on financial disclosure;
  6. calculate basic child support under the Federal Child Support Guidelines;
  7. prepare correspondence and documents required in a joint divorce proceeding;
  8. prepare correspondence and documents required in an uncontested divorce proceeding;
  9. prepare correspondence and documents required in a contested divorce proceeding;
  10. prepare correspondence and documents using specialized divorce document preparation and management software;
  11. transcribe family law correspondence and documents, including marriage and separation agreements, using appropriate and relevant legal terminology;
  12. observe ethical standards with respect to client confidentiality in the completion of all work;
  13. keyboard with accuracy; and
  14. demonstrate the ability to meet deadlines in a manner required to meet legal industry standards.
Means of Assessment
Assignments 5% - 11%
Simulations 30% - 40%
Midterm and/or Test(s) 25% - 30%
Final Exam 20% - 25%
Keyboarding 4 - 5%
Total 100%

A maximum of two evaluations worth up to 20% may be assigned and due in the last 14 days of class.  Some class time is provided to work on any evaluation due in the last 14 days of class


Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.


Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Family Law Manual, Latest Ed., Douglas College or other family law textbook as approved by the department.

Department approved keyboarding material and software.

Course packs as determined by the instructor.


(OADM 1218 AND (OADM 1103 with a grade of B+ or better or OADM 1206 or OADM 1303 or 45 NWPM)) OR (OADM 1246 with a grade of B+ or better AND (OADM 1103 with a grade of B+ or better or OADM 1206 or OADM 1303 or 45 NWPM))