Archives: Glossary terms


A variation is a change to a court order or other legal document. Sometimes the court process that asks for a variation is also called a motion to change.

notice of termination

When an employer fires you or lays you off, they usually have to give you notice of termination. There are 2 ways they can do this:

Your employer can tell you ahead of time. The amount of time can depend on many things, including how long you’ve been in the job.

pay in lieu of notice

When an employer fires you or lays you off, they usually have to give you notice ahead of time. The amount of time can depend on many things including how long you’ve been in the job.
If they let you go right away, they must pay you the money you’d have earned if they had told you ahead of time.

permanent resident

A permanent resident is an immigrant or refugee who has been given the right to live permanently in Canada. A permanent resident is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada for reasons given in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


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.

duty counsel

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.


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,

ex parte motion

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.


Most court forms that start a court process have to be issued. For example, your Application form has to be issued to start a court case. Your form is issued when the court clerk gives you a court file number and signs, dates, and applies the court seal to the upper left corner of your original form.

parenting plan

A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents who have separated or divorced that says how they will care for their children. For example, a parenting plan can say which parent is responsible for making decisions about their child’s dental care, how they will handle emergencies, and how much time the child will spend with each parent.

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