This page provides definitions of common legal words and phrases used in the arbitration of family law disputes. For more definitions of common legal words and phrases, see the Terminology page in the wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law, published by Clicklaw and Courthouse Libraries BC.
A written law made by the federal government or a provincial or territorial government. Acts are also called “legislation” or “statute law,” or sometimes just “statutes.”
A party’s request for a direction in an arbitration proceeding.
A voluntary out-of-court dispute resolution process in which the parties to a family law dispute agree to be bound by the decision of neutral and impartial legal professional, an arbitrator, on the legal issues in their dispute.
A provincial statute setting out certain minimum requirements of arbitration proceedings, including the arbitrator’s duty of fairness, and the court’s role in arbitration proceedings, including when arbitral awards can be appealed to the court.
An agreement between the parties to an arbitration proceeding appointing the arbitrator for the proceeding, identifying the legal issues to be resolved in the proceeding and addressing some of the technical and procedural issues in the proceeding, including how the arbitrator will be paid, that the parties will not go back to court to address the legal issues and that the arbitration proceeding will be confidential.
A legal professional appointed by the parties to an arbitration proceeding to resolve the legal issues in the proceeding.
A party’s explanation about why an arbitration should find a particular fact or reach a particular decision about the legal issues in an arbitration proceeding. An argument may be based on logical reasoning, the law, or both. Arguments may be made orally or in writing.
The temporary or final decision of an arbitrator in an arbitration proceeding. An award can be interim or final. Awards are also called “arbitral awards.”
A person under the age of 18 in Alberta or under the age of 19 in British Columbia.
A lawyer appointed to represent a child in a mediation or an arbitration proceeding.
A meeting of the arbitrator, the parties to an arbitration proceeding and the lawyers for the parties to address technical and procedural issues in an arbitration proceeding, including identifying potential witnesses and clarifying the legal issues to be decided in the proceeding.
An award that is made by the arbitrator with the agreement of the parties.
An order of an arbitrator on a procedural issue in an arbitration proceeding requiring the parties to do or not do something in relation to the arbitration process.
A person with special knowledge or a skill in a subject entitling the person to provide an opinion on facts related to a legal issue in an arbitration proceeding. In family law disputes, experts commonly give evidence about parenting arrangements, the value of property and the tax results of dividing property.
Information and documents presented by the parties to an arbitration proceeding that tend to establish a fact relevant to the legal issues to be decided in the proceeding. Evidence provided by a witness may be given orally or in writing.
The arbitrator’s conclusions about the relevant events in an arbitration proceeding, made after hearing and weighing the evidence given by the parties in the proceeding.
Family law dispute:
A dispute about how the legal issues arising from the end of a family relationship should be resolved, which usually includes issues such as how children will be cared for, how decisions about children should be made, whether and how much child support or spousal support should be paid, and how property and debt should be divided.
An award that conclusively resolves a legal issue in an arbitration proceeding. An arbitration proceeding may result in more than one final award; together, the final awards resolve all of the legal issues in the family law dispute.
A meeting of the arbitrator, the parties to an arbitration proceeding and the lawyers for the parties in which the parties present their arguments and evidence on the legal issues in the family law dispute.
A temporary award made in an arbitration proceeding that is intended to last only for a short period or until a final award is made.
A right or responsibility potentially arising from the end of a family relationship about which the parties do not agree.
An involuntary in-court dispute resolution process in which the parties to a family law dispute are bound by the decision of neutral and impartial legal professional, a judge, on the legal issues in their dispute.
A dispute resolution process that uses both mediation and arbitration to resolve the legal issues in a family law dispute, usually by attempting mediation first and moving to arbitration if mediation fails to resolve some or all of the legal issues.
A voluntary out-of-court dispute resolution process in which the parties to a family law dispute work with a neutral and impartial legal professional, a mediator, to try to reach an agreement settling the legal issues in their dispute.
A direction of an arbitrator in a final award requiring a party to an arbitration proceeding to do or not do something, made as a result of the arbitrator’s decision about the facts and the legal issues in the proceeding.
An adult person whose rights and responsibilities are the subject of a family law dispute.
Rules of evidence:
The rules governing how evidence may be presented in an arbitration proceeding and the weight the arbitrator should give to that evidence. The rules of evidence usually more flexible in arbitration proceedings than they are in litigation proceedings.
Rules of procedure:
The formal, written rules that govern the management of an arbitration proceeding, including how the proceeding is started, how applications are made, how evidence is presented and how awards are made.
An agreement of the parties resolving one or more of the legal issues in a family law dispute.
Statement of agreed facts:
A written summary of the relevant facts in a family law dispute on which the parties agree.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:
An international convention, signed by every country in the world except the United States of America, giving children a number of civil and human rights, including the right to have their wishes heard in legal proceedings affecting their interests.
A party’s voluntary surrender of a right or a claim, such as the ability of a party to go to court about a legal issue in an arbitration proceeding.
A person, including a party and an expert, who provides oral or written evidence in an arbitration proceeding.
The evidence of a witness given in writing in an arbitration proceeding.
For more definitions of common legal words and phrases, see the Terminology page in the wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law.
Copyright © 2018 John-Paul E. Boyd