Family Law – the area of private law that governs relations among members of the family that includes:

  • Divorce – a legal procedure ends marriage, the steps are similar to civil procedures.
  • Spousal support – another word for alimony and is a legal obligation to provide financial support to ones spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex- spouses upon divorce
  • Child support – money paid for the care of their minor child and also to a divorced spouse
  • Custody – with parent the children of the marriage will live with
  • Adoption – the process of gaining the legal rights of a parent to a child and raising the child as one’s own
  • Termination of parental rights – the process by which a parent’s rights to his or her child are legally and permanently terminated, after which the child becomes eligible for adoption.
  • Paternity – the state of being a father
  • Dependency and child neglect – dependency means when a child runs away from home or is beyond control of the parent or guardian and child neglect means when a parent or guardian mistreats, abuses or abandons the child
  • Protection from abuse – is a civil order of the court available to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking

The Family Law Act, 1986 – recognizes marriages an equal partnership and entitles both spouses to share the value of everything acquired during marriage, with a few exceptions.

Family law deals with highly emotional issues objectively and legally. Despite the strength of emotion involved in many family law cases, justice must still be served to each party.

Civil Union- legally recognized form of partnership similar to marriage. Established in order to provide same-sex couples rights, benefits and responsibilities.

Marriage – a legal term for a relationship in which 2 people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner by legal commitments, religious ceremonies. Also applies to same-sex marriages

Marriage Requirements:

  • necessary to get a marriage license or certificate before getting married
  • requirements vary according to province
  • must be at least 18 years old in Ontario and must be at least 19 years old in British Columbia (without parental consent)
  • With parental consent (from both parents) it is possible to get married at 16 or 17 years

When applying for a marriage license or certificate, the following information is required:

  • The date the couple plan to marry
  • Proof of present marital status: (divorce decree if divorced, death certificate if widowed)
  • Proof of identification, often a birth certificate is required


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