glossary

Glossary

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Title: divorce
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A divorce is a court order that ends a marriage legally. Sometimes, you don't need to go to court, but at least one partner needs to fill out court paperwork to get the divorce order.

Title: divorce order
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A divorce order is an order from the court that legally ends a marriage.

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Domestic assault happens when someone applies force to an intimate partner or ex-partner or threatens to do this This can include pushing, punching, kicking, or trying to do any of those things.

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A domestic contract is a written document that you and your partner can make that says how you will deal with your issues while you are together or at the end of your relationship. For example, you can say how much spousal support one partner will pay the other if they separate. A domestic contract might be called something else, including:

  • a cohabitation agreement if it was made before or while you were living together, and you and your partner aren't married
  • a marriage contract if it was made before you were married and you were planning to marry at the time, or after you got married
  • a separation agreement if it was made after you've separated from your partner
Title: duty counsel
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Duty counsel are private lawyers or Legal Aid Ontario staff lawyers who give legal help right away to people who appear in court that day without a lawyer if their income is low enough. They give free legal advice and can help negotiate and settle issues, but they can't take on a whole case or represent a person at trial.

Title: duty counsel
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These are defence lawyers who work at criminal courthouses to help people who don’t have their own lawyers. They are paid for by Legal Aid Ontario. Duty counsel help people at bail hearings, in set date court, or sometimes at guilty pleas. They can offer basic legal advice. In some areas duty counsel may assist in other proceedings.

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Earnings exemptions are the rules that let you earn some money without Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program reducing the amount they give you by the full amount you earn.

Title: election
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An election is a choice that is given to the Crown, or an accused person when there is an allegation of a serious crime.

A Crown election happens when you are charged with a hybrid offence. The Crown will elect to prosecute your case summarily, or by indictment.

If you are charged with an indictable offence, or a hybrid offence that the Crown is prosecuting by indictment, you have an election to make. You can choose to have your trial in the:

  • Ontario Court of Justice before a judge,
  • Superior Court of Justice before a judge, or
  • Superior Court of Justice before a judge and jury.

Making this choice is referred to as making an election. If you elect to have your trial in the Superior Court of Justice you can also choose to have a preliminary hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice.

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The Employment Standards Act (ESA) provides the minimum standards for most employees working in Ontario. The ESA sets out the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers in most Ontario workplaces.

Title: endorsement
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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.

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