These terms are often used during the divorce process. Definitions have been provided by the following sources: LegalZoom.com, Law.com, The Smart Divorce, Merriam-Webester Dictionary, and FindLaw.
n. Term used when one spouse leaves the marital home; intent at permanent separation. Abandonment can be used as a grouse for divorce. It may draw a negative light on the spouse who leaves.
Example: I want a divorce on the ground of abandonment.
n. a lawsuit in which one party sues another
Example: She filed an action for divorce.
n. Voluntary sexual relations between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.
Example: He accused his wife of committing adultery.
n. any written document in which the signer swears under oath. It has the same weight as oral evidence given in court.
Example: We have a signed affidavit stating that your son was not kidnapped, but chose to live with his father on his own accord.
n. a written document reflecting the parties’ resolution of disputed matters. An agreement can be made regarding one specific issue or a variety of issues.
Example: The agreement has been presented to the judge for his review.
n. money paid by one ex-spouse to the other as ordered by a court in a divorce case with the intent of maintaining his or her customary standard of living.
Example: Proof that she had a job caused her to lose her alimony payments.
Synonyms: spousal support, support, maintenance support, maintenance
n. money one spouse pays to the other after they separate until the divorce has become finalized. It is meant to ensure that each spouse is able to maintain their standard of living during the divorce process.
Example: Even though it made him feel a bit awkward, John asked to be awarded alimony pendente because his wife was the major breadwinner.
Synonyms: temporary alimony, alimony pendente lite, temporary spousal support
n. a statement by a party to a legal action of what the party undertakes to prove.
Example: Their divorce is turning out to be extremely nasty with allegations of abuse and drug use by both sides.
Assignment of wages
n. a procedure in which a deduction is made from an employee’s wages and is paid to a third party.
Example: As he had always been current with his payments, an assignment of wages was not ordered.
Automatic restraining order
n. an order that takes effect when the divorce petition is served and prohibits spouses from taking any children out of state, selling or borrowing against property, or borrowing or insurance held for the other spouse. It remains in effect until the judgement is signed by the court.
Example: Lawyers have noted that the automatic restraining order is often overlooked during the divorce proceedings.
n. A court’s determination of which parent, relative or other adult should have physical and/or legal control and responsibility for a minor (child) under 18. There is a difference between physical custody, which designates where the child will actually live, and legal custody, which gives the custodial person(s) the right to make decisions for the child’s welfare.
Example: Child custody was given to the father after it was discovered that all of the allegations against him were false.
n. court-ordered funds to be paid to the custodial parent of a minor child after divorce or separation. The dollar amount is usually based on the income of both parents, the number of children, the expenses of the custodial parent, and any special needs of the child. Child support generally continues until the child reaches 18 years of age, graduates from high school, is emancipated ( no longer lives with either parent), or in some cases, for an extended period such as college attendance. The amount and continuation of support may be changed by the court upon application of either party depending on proved change or circumstance of the parents or child. Child support should not be confused with alimony. Child support is not deductible from gross income for tax purposes ( but may allow a dependent exemption) not is it taxed s
As income, unlike alimony, which is desirable by the payer and taxed as the adult recipient’s income.
Example: When his son decided to live with him, his wife was ordered to pay child support.
n. debts acquired during the marriage. Both husband and wife are equally liable for these debts. They usually include unpaid credit card balances, home mortgages, and car loan balances.
Example: She was happy that they had always payed for everything with cash so there were no community debts to fight over when she filed for divorce.
n. all property acquired during the marriage including money and wages earned during the marriage, as well as anything purchase with that money, regardless of who earned it. It is deemed to be owned equally by a wife and her husband.
Example: Sue was glad that her state did not observe community property laws.
n. An appearance in court for the purpose of conduction a legal procedure.
Example: the court hearing has been set for June 15.
n. the full and honest sharing of information between parties in a case, as required by law. The procedure by which this information is shared is determined by the court.
Example: Voluntary disclosure can save a lot of time and money.
n. the usual basis for granting a divorce in no-fault divorce states. If one party says the marriage is irretrievable and refuses to reconcile then such differences are proved to exist.
Example: She claimed irreconcilable difference in the divorce petition.
n. the order of the court ending the case. It reflects the resolution of all your legal issues.
Example: every part of your judgment is finalized when it is signed by the court.
Synonym: final judgement
n. the first document filed in the court and the one that sets the clock running on any required waiting periods. The petition includes important information about the marriage such as the names of the husband, wife, and any children they may have, whether there is separate or community property, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Example: He had found a lawyer way before the petition was served.
Synonym: application for divorce, complaint
n. the person who first “petitions” the court for divorce. Some states allow for co-petitioners.
Example: Their friends were surprised to here that she was the petitioner.
n. the party who defends a lawsuit brought by another party – for example, you would be the respondent in a divorce or family law case that was bright by your spouse.
Example: The respondent knew that the divorce petition was on it’s way, but that didn’t lessen the shock.
n. married persons living apart, either informally by one leaving the home or agreeing to “separate” while sharing a residence without sexual relations, or foamily by obtaining a “legal separation” or negotiating a “separation agreement” setting put the terms of separate living.
Example: ever since their separation, he has had difficulty sleeping.
n. a document issued by the court at the time a lawsuit is filed, stating the name of both the plaintiff and the defendant, the title an. Umber of the case, the court and it’s address, the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, and instructions as to the need to file a response to the complaint within a certain time (such as 30 days after service), usually with a form on the back on which information of service of summons and complaint is to filled out and signed by the process server.
Example: She made an appointment to see her lawyer the day after the summons was served.
n. a divorce in which both parties agree to the divorce settlement terms without going to trial. This does not mean that there are no arguments or disputes between the supposes. It simply means that spouses could reach an agreement without going to court and having a judge rule on the issues.
Example: even though we got an uncontested divorce, the process was still stressful.