Family Law

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Family Law
2011-12-01 11:40:23

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  1. Alimony
    An award of support payable to a wife whose husband has engaged in matrimonial misconduct; as condition of receiving alimony, wife has to be prepared to forgive the husband and take him back, although courts softened this requirement in later years. Alimony has been replaced as a remedy by statutory-support provisions in the Divorce Act, and in provincial legislation.
  2. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
    Latest trend in settling disputes by negotiation, rather than by fighting it out in court. Many members of the bar and the public have jumped on the ADR bandwagon as a panacea. If parties do not have equality of bargaining power, ADR can result in the weaker party doing far worse than it might do after a court fight.
  3. Banns
    A public announcement of an intention to marry, made at religious service.
  4. Betrothal
    An agreement, contractual in nature, to marry at a later date. Social and cultural event we call an engagement is the outward sign of what has legally occured.
  5. Children's Aid Society
    An organization, originally private, voluntary, charitable group, that is given statutory powers and government funding to protect children in many Canadian jurisdictions.
  6. Cohabitation
    A situation where a man & woman live in a permanent, sexually monogamous marriage-like relationship, without formally being married.
  7. Cohabitation Agreement
    A form of domestic agreement that permits those intending to cohabit to agree on issues relating to property & support if the relationship ends.
  8. Criminal Conversation
    Legal wrong done to a husband by another man who has sexual intercourse with his, the husband's wife. This tort was abolished by statute in most jurisdictions by 1970's.
  9. Dowry
    A contractual payment, enforceable in law, to the parents of a groom by the parents of the bride.
  10. Garnisheeing/Garnishment
    Method of enforcing a judgement for the payment of money by requiring a third party who owes money to the judgment-debtor to pay that amount, or a part of it, to the court for the benefit of the judgment-creditor.
  11. Marriage Contract
    AKA: ante nuptual agreement. Same thing as cohabitation agreement, except the parties intend to marry.
  12. Nullity
    Refers to a court order declaring a marriage to be null and void. Such a marriage is said to be nullity.
  13. Patriarchal
    Describes a pattern of authority in society in which males have the most power and authority. A patriarchal family, is one in which the father is the principal authority and decision maker.
  14. Polygamy
    The union of one man with 2 or more women, or one woman with two or more men, to form a family unit.
  15. Reference
    Procedure by which the Government of Canada refers important legal or factual questions to the Supreme Court of Canada and asks the Court to give the government its opinion.
  16. Separation Agreement
    Agreement whereby spouses who are ending their marriage decide terms about issues related to support, custody, and division of property.
  17. Unity of Personality
    Common Law doctrine that defined a married couple as one person in law, with authority over that person vested in the husband. Effect of the doctrine was to deprive a married woman of most legal rights, including legal control of her property and children.
  18. Spouse
    A married person.
  19. Unmarried Spouses
    Where a couple has formed a long term relationship that looks like a marriage relationship without a formal marriage ceremony.
  20. Continuing Record
    booklet that contains a copy of all written documents for a family law proceeding in an organized and chronological order.