Glossary

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This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A lawyer is in the best position to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. For legal terms not referred to in this glossary, or for more comprehensive definitions, you may wish to refer to a legal dictionary or to an internet resource.

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Factum
A document in a court case in which a party sets out a concise argument, stating the facts and laws relied on.
Family Court
(see Court)
Family Law
The laws that deal with family-related issues and domestic relations including child protection, divorce, separation, custody and access, division of property, support, and adoption.
Family Law Act
Ontario statute governing family property, child and spousal support, the matrimonial home, domestic contracts, and restraining orders.
Family Law Rules
(see Rules of the Court)
Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996
Ontario statute that creates the Family Responsibility Office and sets out its powers and responsibilities to enforce child and spousal support orders and agreements.
Family Responsibility Office (FRO)
The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) receives every child support and spousal support order made by the Ontario courts, collects the amounts owed under the order and pays it to the person to whom it is owed. The FRO has the legal duty to take enforcement action against those who do not pay support as ordered.
Fee Waiver
A mechanism for waiving court or enforcement fees. People who cannot afford to pay may request that these fees be waived. Fee waiver applies to most fees in civil, family, and small claims court proceedings. A request form must be submitted and determination is based on financial eligibility criteria.
Fees
  1. A charge for services.
  2. Court fees payable in various proceedings as set out by regulation.
Contingency Fee
Fees payable to a lawyer only if a case is successful. They are usually based on a percentage of the client's recovery.
Fiduciary
A person who has a legal obligation to act in good faith for the benefit of another person, for example a trustee. Describes the nature of the duty that such a person owes to the beneficiary.
Final Order
(see Order)
Financial Statement
Forms that set out a person's income, expenses, property, debts and liabilities.
Fine
(see Sentence)
Fitness Hearing
(see Hearing)
Forensic Evidence
(see Evidence)
FRO
Acronym for the Family Responsibility Office.