Glossary - Family Law

offer to settle

In Family Law

An offer to settle is a written document that is sent by one party to the other party that says what they are willing to agree to in order to settle all or part of the issues.

Office of the Children’s Lawyer

In Abuse and Family Violence, Family Law

The Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) is the government-funded office that represents children under the age of 18 in some court cases.

The OCL is not automatically involved in court cases dealing with decision-making responsibility and parenting time, which used to be called custody and access. They have to agree to accept your case. The OCL has clinicians and lawyers across Ontario. OCL clinicians, who are usually social workers, prepare reports about a child’s needs, views, and wishes. OCL lawyers represent children in court.

opening statement

In Family Law

An opening statement is what you tell the judge when your case starts. In it, you give the judge a summary of the:

  • issues your case is about
  • court orders you’re asking for
  • evidence you will present to support the orders you want
openness agreement

In Family Law

An openness agreement is an agreement made between a child’s adoptive parents and their birth parent, relative, or other person. It says how they agree to keep in contact in the future.

An openness agreement can be made at any time — before or after the adoption takes place. The agreement can be formal or informal and can change over time. You don’t have to go to court to make an openness agreement.

openness order

In Family Law

An openness order is a court order that says an adopted child can have contact with their birth parent, relative, or other person.

The court has to decide that the order would be in the best interests of the child, and that the continued relationship is an important one that is good for the child.

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