Divorce Terminology You Need to Know

Access

Access, also known as “visitation” or “parenting time”, refers to the time a parent spends with a child they do not usually live with.

Case Conference

A case conference is a meeting in the courthouse between you, a judge, your partner, and your spouse’s lawyer if they have one. The purpose of a case conference is to spot out any issues that need to be resolved in your family matter, identify what information you and your partner still need to share with each other, and try to find ways that you can solve your issues without going to trial.

Custody

Custody is the right of a parent to make important decisions for their child. These decisions include decisions about the child’s health, religion and education. This does not refer to residency of the child. The different forms of custody include: sole custody, joint custody, split custody and temporary custody.

Equalization Payment

The equalization payment, which only available to married spouses, is the payment owed to the spouse with a lower net family property (NFP). The equalization payment is one-half the difference between the spouse’s incomes after all applicable deductions and exclusions have been made. The court has discretion to vary this amount if they think it is unfair.

Joint Custody

Joint custody is an order that means that both you and your former partner share, at all times, the legal rights and responsibilities associated with custody even though you live apart. You are both entitled to make important “final” decisions about your child’s upbringing and well-being. You must still consult one another before doing so.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement, also known as a domestic contract, is a written agreement made between partners that outlines how they will deal with issues if they ever get separated or divorced.

Shared Custody

Shared custody refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. In shared custody arrangements, the child is with each parent for roughly an equal amount of time. Shared custody is relevant to child support only since it does not affect the custodial parent’s rights and responsibilities with respect to decision-making.

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