Programs that provide assistance for people who want to request spousal support, change the amount of a spousal support award, dispute the award of spousal support or enforce payment of spousal support monies in cases where the supporting spouse is delinquent in paying or refuses to pay altogether. Spousal support payments are allowances which husbands or wives pay, by court order, for the maintenance of the other spouse while they are separated, pending divorce, or divorced.
Programs that provide assistance for people who want to obtain custody of their children as a part of a divorce or separation action, who want to appeal all or a portion of the terms of a previous child custody decision, or in the case of a noncustodial parent, who want to establish or appeal the terms of a visitation award or a court-ordered visitation schedule. Included are programs that provide child custody/visitation assistance for people who are not legally married but have children together.
Programs that provide assistance which helps to ensure that parents fulfill their mutual obligation to financially support their children. Included are services for people who want to locate an absent parent; establish paternity; establish a child support order; change the amount of a child support award; dispute a child support award; or enforce payment of child support monies in cases where the supporting parent is delinquent in paying or refuses to pay or make arrangements in paying. Child support is money paid by one parent to another for the maintenance, including the education, of their children following the dissolution of their marriage or other relationship. Child support assistance/enforcement may be provided by private lawyers, legal clinics, or provincial/territorial child support enforcement programs (which may be able to draw upon additional sanctions such as the refusal to issue driving licences).
Programs that provide information and advice, help with documents, legal counselling and/or representation and other forms of legal assistance which deal broadly with family law issues such as divorce and separation, child custody and access, and support payments rather than specializing in a particular issue that concerns relationships and rights within families.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are initiating or responding to a suit for an annulment of their marriage, which establishes that a marital status never existed; a legal separation, which suspends the marriage so far as concerns the cohabitation of the two parties; or a divorce, which totally dissolves the marriage relationship. These programs may also discuss and represent the individual's interests regarding distribution of property assets and parenting issues regarding any children.
Programs that provide information and guidance and/or representation in court proceedings for individuals who have been abused in an intimate relationship and/or for people who are facing a misdemeanour or criminal charge for perpetrating abuse. Included are domestic violence law clinics and other legal assistance programs that represent victims of domestic abuse at restraining order hearings or in other civil or criminal actions involving charges against an abuser. Most also represent the person's interests in complexities that arise as part of the legal process such as restitution, payment of debts or child support, custody and visitation and property control. Some programs may also represent victims of domestic abuse who have been charged with a crime and/or handle cases involving accusations of child abuse filed by one parent against the other, abuse of an elderly person by an adult child or abuse of an adult child by a parent.
Programs that provide assistance for grandparents who feel that their visitation and custody rights with regard to their grandchildren have been violated. Also included are organizations that provide information about the rights of grandparents and/or referrals for grandparents who need to locate a lawyer who has expertise in this area, or other legal resources.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.