Header: Ministry of Justice - Family Justice - Interjurisdictional Support Orders. Photo: © 2006 Jupiterimages Corporation.

Glossary

Age of Majority – The age of majority has to do with the legal definition of a "child." In BC, the age of majority is 19. Other provinces and countries may have a different age of majority.

Provinces where the age of majority is 18:
  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
Provinces and territories where the age of majority is 19:
  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon
Applicant – The person applying to change the amount of support for an "age of majority" child. The age of majority in British Columbia is 19.

Arrears – Maintenance or support that has not been paid.

Certified Copy – The court that makes an order has the original order, signed by the judge, on its file. A certified copy is a copy made by the court from the original order. It has a stamp on it saying it is certified by the court. The stamp has an original signature from a court official.

Child Support Guidelines – The Child Support Guidelines are rules for how to calculate the amount of child support. There are federal guidelines, and one for each of the Canadian provinces and territories. Many foreign countries also have their own guidelines. The child support guidelines look at the average cost of raising a child. They include all the normal expenses a parent will have.

Claimant – The person claiming support and who will receive the support for the child.

Reciprocating Jurisdiction – British Columbia has reciprocal agreements with all the Canadian provinces and territories, and with several foreign countries. These are 'reciprocating jurisdictions'. This means that B.C. and each of the 'reciprocating jurisdictions' have agreed to recognize the family support (maintenance) orders and agreements made in the other place. An order or written agreement made in one place is 'good' in the other.

Respondent – The person responding to a claim or application.

Shared Custody – For there to be "shared custody" the person paying support (the respondent) must have the children in his/her care for at least 40 percent of the time over the year.

Special Expense – The courts must follow the child support guidelines. There are some exceptions. If a child has special expenses.

Split Custody – This can be called "split parenting responsibility", or "split custody". What it means is that one or more children live with each parent. When this happens, each parent has a duty to support the child(ren) the other parent has, based on the child support guidelines tables. The parent who pays more, (because of fewer children, or a higher income) pays the other parent the difference.

Table – The child support guidelines look at the average cost of raising a child. They include all the normal expenses a parent will have. The printed guidelines include very detailed lists, or tables, of the amount the parent paying child support should pay.

Undue Hardship – If, as an applicant, you make a claim for undue hardship, you are asking the court to order support lower than the 'table amount'. The court looks at undue hardship claims in two parts. The first is whether the 'table amount' would cause you or the children undue hardship. The second is if your household income would be lower than the respondent's if the 'table amount' is ordered. The court will look at the standards of living for the households of both parents. 'Household' includes the income of every person who lives with you, and with the respondent. For this kind of claim it's not just your income that is considered by the court.