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Canadian Divorce Glossary
If you're considering ending your marriage, learning to speak the "language" of divorce in Canada is an important first step. Below you will find a brief glossary of terms related to the separation process. These definitions are overviews, provided to help you begin to understand what is involved in ending a marriage.
Factum - A "factum" is a bound volume of information that is filed with the court with most motions and trials. A factum includes an introduction to what the motion or trial is about, a summary of the facts, a list of the issues in the motion or trial, a statement of the law relating to the motion or trial, and the orders requested from the court on the motion.
False Allegations - False allegations are untrue statements made by one person against another person. In divorce, a variety of allegations, false and true, regarding spousal and child abuse are commonly made. This is often done in the context of child custody cases or to obtain the courtís sympathy on a financial issue. If such allegations are made against you, it is important that you act quickly and respond to them.
Family Law Act - The Family Law Act is the law that governs property division for married couples in Ontario. As well, it governs the issues of child support, child custody, spousal support and other issues for unmarried couples. On these other issues, the Family Law Act is very similar to the Divorce Act.
Family Responsibility Office - The Family Responsibility Office (ďFROĒ) is a government office created to ensure that people who have a court-ordered obligation to make child support or spousal support payments meet their legal obligations. The FRO has legal authority to collect these payments. They normally do so through wage garnishment, or by threatening to revoke a personís driverís licence if payment of child support or spousal support is not made.
Fees - Legal fees for a divorce are quite high. There are many ways to save legal fees, which you should discuss with your lawyer. One of the best ways is to try to avoid court, either through negotiation with your spouse or through mediation.
Final Order - A final order concludes the court's consideration of your divorce. If you would like to change a final order, you need to appeal it.
Financial Statement - If there are any financial issues arising out of the breakdown of your relationship, you will need to complete a financial statement. A financial statement summarizes your financial situation, and is used as a basis for negotiating the resolution of the issues of division of property, child support and spousal support. On the financial statement, you are required to list your income, your expenses, your assets, your debts, what you brought into the marriage, and what gifts, inheritances or personal injury awards your received during your marriage. The financial statement is a sworn statement, which means that you are certifying that what youíve put on it is true under penalty of perjury.