Shulman Law Firm strongly believes that it is important for you to have a comprehensive understanding of your case so that you have the knowledge and confidence to make well informed decisions that compliment your needs and requirements. That includes being able to decipher legal language and terms. And while we won’t use unfamiliar legal jargon when speaking with you, the Ontario court system relies on legal language, making laws and regulations, documents and sometimes even judges, difficult to comprehend.
To better assist you, we’ve compiled a list of commonly used legal terms, and their less complicated definitions.
The right of a non-custodial parent to visit and spend time with his or her child. Access also includes the right to ask questions about the child and be given information about health, welfare and education etc.
A legal proceeding in a civil case.
Generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, and not intended to be applied to other purposes.
Attacking a party’s character rather than answering his or her argument.
Both parties are in agreement.
Postponement of a court hearing to another date.
Adjournment Sine Die
When a court hearing is postponed without setting a date for the next meeting.
A written statement or declaration of facts that are affirmed to be true.
Affidavit Of Service
An affidavit certifying that a document has been served on a party.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Resolving conflict without having to go to court.
The person who commences a divorce application.
A process where a neutral third party, selected by the disputing parties, makes a decision on the issue in dispute.
In good faith; implies sincere good intention regardless of outcome.
Decisions made by judges in previous cases that are used as precedent for a current case.
Certificate Of Divorce
The final document issued by the court at the end of a divorce proceeding. Either party may apply for this certificate 31 days after the divorce has been granted.
Often used to mean something that is true in practice, but has not been officially instituted or endorsed.
Often used to mean start all over.
A hearing in which a payor is required to come to court to explain why payment has not been made as required by a support order.
Illegally obtained evidence. This evidence may be found to be inadmissible.
Federal statute that governs divorce in Canada, as well as custody, access, and support in divorce cases.
Final order made by a court in a divorce case. On taking effect, a divorce order legally ends a marriage.
A payment from one married spouse to the other to ensure that both parties receive an equal share of the net family property they accumulated during their marriage.
A document in a court case in which a party sets out a concise argument, using specific facts and laws to support it.
A person who has a legal obligation to act in good faith for the benefit of another person, for example a trustee.
When a judge finds that the amount of income a parent discloses is not accurate, the judge may attribute additional income to that person for purposes of calculating child support.
A legal proceeding conducted without the presence of one party.
In Loco Parentis
Used to refer to a person or entity assuming the normal parental responsibilities for a minor without formally adopting the child. This includes schools and other institutions that act in the place of parents on a daily basis.
Legal proceedings before a court.
A property that was occupied by a family as their home at the time of separation.
Net Family Property
The value of all property that a married spouse owns on a specified date, known as the valuation date, less (a) the spouse’s debts on the valuation date, (b) the value of property other than a matrimonial home owned by the spouse at the date of marriage, less any debts owing at that time, and (c) any excluded property.
Offer To Settle
A written document that is sent by one party to the other outlining the terms for which that party is willing to settle all or part of the case.
A plan developed by parents which sets out their arrangements for the care of their children after separation. The plan can be informal, or can be included in a separation agreement or court order.
Dividing money or property equally according to the number of beneficiaries.
Based on what is known or seen when something is first presented; the presentation of sufficient evidence by a party to support a legal claim.
Security For Costs
A court order that requires a party to pay money into court to ensure that money will be available for costs ordered by the court, if the party is not successful in pursuing his or her claims.
Proves breakdown of a marriage; spouses are living separate and apart and one or both of them have the intention of ending the marriage.
Agreement by two people, who lived together and have separated, on their respective rights and obligations.
A document that compels a person to attend proceedings as a witness in order to give testimony.
Support Deduction Order
An order that allows the Family Responsibility Office to collect support payments.
An order that is effective only for a limited time.
A promise; something will be granted providing the promise is upheld.
A situation where paying the required amount of child support would cause excessive financial difficulty for the paying party.
The date at which a married spouse's property is valued for the purpose of calculating net family property.
A change to a court order or other legal document, made on the authority of a court.
Someone who persistently, and without reasonable grounds, brings proceedings in any court, or conducts a proceeding in a troubling manner. Once declared a vexatious litigant by a court, that person cannot start or continue any civil legal proceeding without the court’s agreement.
Discontinuing or abandoning a case or part of a case.
A formal court order which directs a person to do or refrain from doing something. This includes ordering the seizure and delivery of personal property, and recovery or delivery of the possession of land.