Family Terminology

Adjournment: To set Court proceedings to a later date.

Caseflow Conference Program: The Caseflow Conference process is a program in the Provincial Court in Alberta. It is an alternative to a docket appearance in court before a judge when an applicant files a claim for a parenting order, guardianship order, contact order or an order to enforce time with a child under the Family Law Act. Source: Alberta Justice Services

Contact: time between the child and an adult who is not the guardian.

Consent Order:  A Court order that both Parties sign indicated that they agree with everything in the Order. A consent order can be drawn up at any time in the Court process, if the two parties decide to make an agreement.

Dispute Resolution Officer Project : The Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) Project is a project operating in Calgary, only. The project encourages those wanting to apply for child support or to vary child support to meet with a senior family law lawyer before going to court. The lawyers who are acting as DRO’s hope to help parties reach agreement on issues without having to appear in front of a judge.
Source: Alberta Courts

Docket Court: Lower complexity courts, typically managing a large volume of matters, presided over by a judge. The Docket Court will be the First Court you appear in.

Emergency Protection Order: An EPO is a way to address the immediate safety of victims of family violence. An EPO provides legal protection to victims of family violence – it is not a criminal charge. An EPO can order an abuser not to go to places where the victim regularly goes and not to communicate with the victim. The EPO can allow the victim to stay in the home and order the abuser to leave. It can also address other conditions necessary to provide for the immediate protection of the victim and other family members.

There is no cost to obtain an EPO. Children and Youth Services caseworkers and police can apply for an EPO 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Victims can apply for an Order directly at a provincial court during court hours. An EPO must be scheduled for review in the Court of Queen’s Bench no later than nine working days after it is granted to review the information related to the Order. At the review, the Judge will determine what, if any, further order is granted.
Source: Alberta Human Services

Guardianship: A Legal relationship, including entitlements and responsibilities, with a child as determined by section 20 of the Alberta Family Law Act.
Source: Alberta Family Law Act (Queen’s Printer).

Interim and Final Orders: Interim Orders are temporary orders granted by the court until a final order is granted.  Final orders are usually not accompanied by a return court date.

Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR): A method of dispute resolution where a judge meets with opposing parties and their counsel to attempt to facilitate a resolution between the parties.

Maintenance Enforcement Program: The Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) is authorized by the Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Act to ensure that individuals meet their obligations to pay spousal and child support under the terms of their court orders and certain agreements. Once an order or agreement has been registered with MEP, maintenance payments that the debtor (payor) would normally pay directly to the creditor (recipient) are sent to MEP. MEP then forwards the payment to the creditor once the funds have cleared through a trust account.
Source: Alberta Justice