Glossary - Family Law


In Abuse and Family Violence, Criminal Law, Family Law, Immigration Law, Refugee Law

A sentence is a punishment given to someone found guilty of an offence. A sentence for an adult can include jail time, but it doesn’t have to. A sentence can also include a fine or a period of probation. Sentences for youth are different.

separation agreement

In Family Law

A separation agreement, sometimes called a domestic contract, is a written contract that partners can make after they have separated or divorced that says how they will deal with their issues. For example, it can say how much spousal support and child support one partner will pay the other, and who will have custody of or access to the children. A separation agreement can deal with some or all of your family law issues.


In Family Law, Housing Law, Human Rights, Tribunals and Courts

Give or deliver a document to someone. Usually the law says how you can give or deliver the document, who has to get it, and the deadline by which they have to get it.

settlement conference

In Family Law, Tribunals and Courts

A settlement conference is a meeting between a judge, the parties, and their lawyers if they have any. The purposes of a settlement conference include:

  • talking about ways to solve those issues without going to a trial
  • if possible, obtaining the judge’s view of how the court might decide the case
  • thinking about any matter that may help solve the case
shared care

In Family Law

Shared care, also called shared custody, is when children live at least 40% of the time with each parent. Shared custody may affect how much child support is paid.

shared custody

In Family Law

Shared custody, also called shared care, is when children live at least 40% of the time with each parent. Shared custody may affect how much child support is paid.

shared parenting time

In Family Law

Shared parenting time is when children live at least 40% of the time with each parent. It used to be called shared care or shared custody. Shared parenting time may affect how much child support is paid.

society care

In Abuse and Family Violence, Child abuse and neglect, Family Law

A child is in society care when they are in the care and custody of the Children’s Aid Society for a certain amount of time. A child can’t be in society care for more than 12 months. If CAS has to care for them longer than 12 months, they have to be in extended society care.

sole custody

In Abuse and Family Violence, Family Law

Sole custody is a type of custody where only one parent has the right to make important decisions about how to care for and raise a child. It includes the right to make decisions about the child’s health, education, and religion.

The parent with sole custody may have to discuss the issue with the other parent before making an important decision. But the parent with sole custody can make the decision even if the other parent disagrees.

Other people, for example, grandparents, can also apply to the court for custody.

special or extraordinary expenses

In Family Law

Special or extraordinary expenses are a type of child support that is paid in addition to the table amounts of monthly child support set out in the Child Support Guidelines. The table amounts cover expenses like clothes, food, and basic school supplies.

Special or extraordinary expenses cover things like daycare or university costs. These expenses must be reasonable given the family’s financial situation and necessary because they are in the child’s best interests. Both parents usually share these expenses in proportion to their incomes.

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