Becoming legally separated from your spouse can be a very trying, and painful process. This can be especially true for those couples who did not arrive at the decision to part ways amicably. Amidst the grief and heartache of the divorce, having to think about legalities can be overwhelming. By receiving guidance from a compassionate attorney and doing a little research, the steps of divorce can become less intimidating. Below, we have provided a list of terms to know when going through a divorce.
Please note, there are also many terms provided here related to child custody. If a couple had children together during the marriage, discussions regarding the children’s future care must be had as well.
Payment made from a spouse to the other, so the spouse in need of financial assistance can continue living comfortably in the way he or she was used to during the marriage. Alimony may also be referred to as maintenance or spousal support.
When one spouse opposes the divorce either because he or she disagrees with divorce terms, or refutes the reasons for the separation.
This is the spouse who is responsible for taking care of the child or children, and whom they shall live with at least the majority of the time.
When used related to a divorce, it is when a parent no longer has any duty towards taking care of the child. Emancipation may occur for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- When the child marries
- If the child was drafted into military service
- The child has reached a certain age (depending on the state)
- Ordered by the court due to what is best for the child
These are written questions that are sent from one spouse to another, and all answers must be returned in writing.
Property that was obtained during the marriage, without regard of who actually owns it. A few common examples of marital assets are:
- Homes or real estate
- Cash amounts
- Stocks or bonds
- Profit sharing plans
- Other items of value
As another option besides litigation, a neutral third party helps the couple arrive at divorce agreements that are satisfactory to each spouse.
When a spouse brings forward a written request for a temporary ruling. Each spouse will present their side of the argument that will be decided upon by the judge. Topics for a motion can involve things like child support, custody or spousal support.
The parent who was not granted physical custody of the child or children. However, it is still possible for the non-custodial parent to have legal custody, despite not living with the child or children majority of the time.
When a court order blocks a spouse from being able to do certain actions such as liquidating assets, harassment, or other threatening behavior. In many cases, restraining orders are set in place to help prevent a spouse from domestic violence.
If you have questions, make sure you consult a reputable attorney.
Thanks to our friends from Cohen & Cohen for their insight into legal terminology.