Glossary - Family Law


In Family Law

An endorsement is the written directions a judge gives you and your partner that says what you must do or not do. It is usually handwritten and put in your court file.

To make an endorsement into a court order, you or your partner prepare a document, called a draft order, that you both sign. You must do this if you want an order that is enforceable. This means the court can order you or your partner to do what the court order says. Sometimes the court clerk prepares the draft order.

equalization payment

In Family Law, Wills and Powers of Attorney

An equalization payment is money one married partner can sometimes get from the other partner after they separate or the other partner dies. Its purpose is to share the amount that the couple’s property increased in value while they were married.

Common-law partners usually don’t have a right to an equalization payment.

ex parte motion

In Family Law

An ex parte motion, sometimes called an emergency motion, is when you bring an urgent motion without notice to your partner. This means you don’t have to serve your documents on your partner before the judge hears the motion and makes a decision. The reason for not requiring service may be because of immediate safety issues or because the delay would likely lead to something serious happening. You can only bring this type of motion in limited situations. For example, if you feel there is an immediate risk that your partner will seriously harm you or your children, or leave the province or country with your children and not bring them back.

exclusive possession

In Family Law

Exclusive possession is a court order that says only one partner can stay in, or return to, the home and the other partner isn’t allowed on the property. If there are children, usually the order also includes that the children are allowed on the property. The order is usually temporary. The court doesn’t decide who owns the home or who rented it when deciding which partner can stay in it.

extended society care

In Child abuse and neglect, Family Law

A child is in extended society care when they are in the care and custody of the Children’s Aid Society and they have to stay in their care until one of the following happens:

  • the court changes the order
  • the child turns 18
  • the child gets married
  • the child is adopted
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