Glossary for Child Support in BC

From Clicklaw Wikibooks


Access
Under the Divorce Act, the time a parent has with a child.
Agreement
An agreement, usually in writing, which two or more people use to record their settlement of legal issues, like child support.
Arbitration
A dispute resolution process in which the parties submit their dispute to a neutral third party, an arbitrator, and agree to be bound by the arbitrator’s decision.
Arbitrator
A person who is trained to act as a neutral third party to conduct hearings, receive evidence and resolve a dispute outside the court process.
Applicant
The person who makes an application to court. In the Provincial Court, the person who begins a court case. The person against whom the application or claim is brought is the Respondent.
Arrears
A payor’s debt of unpaid child support and special expenses, usually accumulating because an agreement or order said that child support was to be paid.
Child support
A regulation that talks about how child support is calculated.
Guidelines
The Guidelines apply to all people who have had a child and are no longer together, regardless of the nature of their relationship.
Consent order
A court order made by a judge, sometimes without a formal hearing in court, that both parents agree to.
Custody
Under the Divorce Act, a term that describes when a child is in the care of an adult. A person with custody is responsible for the care of the child or children on a daily basis. Only one parent can have custody, called sole custody, or both parents can have custody, called joint custody. Joint custody doesn’t mean that the children’s time is split equally between their parents’ homes.
Divorce
A court order that ends a marriage. A divorce order can only be granted by a Supreme Court.
Divorce Act
A federal law that talks about divorce as well as child support, spousal support, custody and access.
Enforce
To make someone to obey an agreement or order. For example, if an agreement or order for child support is filed in court, either parent can register it with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) for enforcement. FMEP will monitor the agreement or order and enforce it as necessary.
Family Justice Counsellors
Counsellors who work at Provincial Court family justice centres. Family Justice

Counsellors can help people resolve disputes over custody, guardianship, access, and child support.

Guardian
Under the Family Law Act, a person who has the duty to make parenting decisions for a child. Guardians are usually, but not always, parents

Family Law Act: A British Columbia law that talks about issues such as child support, spousal support, guardianship, parenting arrangements and contact, and the division of property and debt.

Mediator
A person who is trained to act as a neutral third party to help people resolve a dispute and come to a mutually acceptable agreement without going to court.
Order
A direction of a judge to do something or not do something, like an order that someone pay child support. Usually refers to the document that records the judge’sdirections and is signed by the judge. The order tells the people named in it what they must do about issues such as custody, access, and child support. People named in a court order are bound to obey it, and will face legal consequences if they fail to do so.
Parent
A person who is the legal parent of a child, including biological parents, adoptive parents and stepparents, and people who have helped to have a child through assisted reproduction if they have an assisted reproduction agreement that says they are parents.
Payor
A person who is paying child support or has a duty to pay child support. Provincial Court: A trial court with the authority to make orders under the Family Law Act for

guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, child support, and spousal support.

Recipient
A person who is entitled to receive child support payments from a payor.
Separation
The breakdown of a married or unmarried relationship usually indicated when the parties stop living together although a couple can be separated and still live under the same roof. There is no such thing as a “legal” separation.
Separation agreement
A written contract between two or more people which sets out the terms on which they have settled the legal issues arising from their separation. Separation agreements on child support and spousal support can be enforced by the Family
Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).
Shared custody
This is a term used by the Child Support Guidelines when the parents have the children for an equal or almost-equal amount of time.
Special expenses
Children’s expenses that both parents have a duty to pay, on top of the payor’s duty to pay child support. Special expenses usually include things like the cost of medicines, orthodontics and sports activities. Which expenses qualify as special expenses is usually set out in an agreement or orders on child support.
Split custody
This is a term used by the Child Support Guidelines when each parent has one or more of the children in their care.
Spouse
A person who is married to someone or who has lived with someone in a marriagelike relationship.
Supreme Court
A trial court with the authority to make orders under the Family Law Act and the Divorce Act, for divorce, custody, access, guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, child support, spousal support and the division of property and debt.




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