Archives: Glossary terms

parenting order

A parenting order is a type of court order that deals with:

Decision-making responsibility or who has the right to make important decisions about how to care for and raise a child. This used to be called custody.
Parenting time or who has the right to spend time with a child.

split parenting time

Split parenting time, which used to be called split custody, is where parents who have separated or divorced have:

more than one child together, and
each parent has one or more of their children living with them most of the time.

Split parenting time may affect how much child support is paid.

shared parenting time

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.

supervised parenting time

Supervised parenting time is a kind of parenting time when someone else watches a parent’s visits with their child. This might be another relative like the child’s grandparent or uncle, or it might be someone from an agency like the Children’s Aid Society. The purpose of supervised parenting time is usually to make sure the child is safe.

decision-making responsibility

Decision-making responsibility is 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, religion, and important extra-curricular activities. Decision-making responsibility used to be called custody
The parents can agree to or the court can give:

one parent all decision-making responsibility,

parenting time

Parenting time is the time that a child spends in the care of a parent. All parents usually have parenting time. And a person who stands in the place of a parent, such as a step-parent, may also get it. Parenting time used to be called access.
Parenting time can be on a strict schedule,


The term spouse has different meanings depending on the area of law. In estates law, which deals with wills and Powers of Attorney, someone is your spouse if:

you’re married to them
you’ve lived together for at least 3 years or sometimes less if you’re raising a child together.

The definition of spouse is different in family law.

Guardian of the Person

A Guardian of the Person is someone a court appoints to make personal decisions for you if you’re not mentally capable of making them. Their role is to make the decisions you would make for yourself. If the Guardian does not know what you would want, they must make decisions based on what they believe is best for you.

Guardian of Property

A Guardian of Property is someone who a court or the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee appoints to manage your money and property. This might happen if you’re not mentally capable of doing this. Or, if the attorney you named in your Power of Attorney for Property is not looking after your money and property properly.

mentally capable

Capacity means being mentally able to make decisions. How this is tested depends on whether the decision is about:

personal care, such as bathing and getting dressed
health care and medical treatment
property and finances

Capacity also depends on the type of document you want to prepare,  for example:

a Power of Attorney for Property
a Power of Attorney for Personal Care
a will

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