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AB INITIO  look up translate image
Latin for "from the beginning."
ABANDONMENT  look up translate image
This term is applied when one married spouse leaves the marital home. In some areas this may be grounds for divorce or may reflect adversely upon the spouse who moves.
ABSENT PARENT  look up translate image
The parent not living in the same household as the qualifying child as defined by the Child Support Act 1991
ABSOLUTE DIVORCE  look up translate image
the final ending of a marriage. Both parties are legally free to remarry.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE  look up translate image
Form sent by the Court to the respondent (and co-respondent, if any) with the petition, with questions about his or her intentions and wishes in response to the petition; its return to the Court establishes service of the petition
ACTION  look up translate image
a lawsuit or proceeding in a court of law.
ADULTERY  look up translate image
This term refers to sexual intercourse by a married person outside of the marriage. In some areas this may also be grounds for divorce or adversely affect the offender's case.
AFFIDAVIT  look up translate image
Sworn statement in writing, usually made under oath or on affirmation before a magistrate or officer (often a notary public).
AGREEMENT  look up translate image
a verbal or written resolution of disputed issues.
ALIAS SUMMONS  look up translate image
another summons when the original is not served on the defendant.
ALIMONY  look up translate image
Also called maintenance or support. See Maintenance.
ALIMONY PENDENTE  look up translate image
Spousal support to be paid by one marital partner to the other during the pre-trial period of separation.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)  look up translate image
A procedure for settling a dispute outside the courtroom. Most forms of ADR are not binding on the parties, and involve referral of the case to a neutral party such as an arbitrator or mediator.
ANCILLARY RELIEF  look up translate image
A financial or property adjustment order made by a Court as ancillary to a petition for divorce or separation.
ANNULMENT  look up translate image
The legal ending of an 'Invalid Marriage'. To the law neither party was ever married, but all the children born of the annulled marriage remain legitimate.
ANSWER  look up translate image
the written response to a complaint, petition, or motion.
APPEAL  look up translate image
a legal action where the losing party requests that a higher court review the decision.
APPLICATION  look up translate image
A document giving details, in broad terms, of the order sought from the Court. All applications within divorce proceedings are started by filing a notice of application. Standard Forms are available at divorce court offices; they include a space for the place, date and time of the hearing of the application, to be completed by the Court office.
ARREARAGES  look up translate image
The difference between the amount of alimony or child support paid, if any, and the amount required under court order.
ASSETS  look up translate image
Property of all kinds, including real and personal, tangible and intangible.
BAILIFF  look up translate image
A Sheriff's officer who serves writs and summonses, makes arrests and makes sure sentences of the court are carried out.
BANKRUPT  look up translate image
any person judged insolvent by the court, their property being administered for the benefit of the creditors.
BARRISTER  look up translate image
A lawyer who has been called to the Bar and who is qualified to plead in the Higher Courts.
BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD  look up translate image
Legal standard used to determine child custody, visitation and support
BIGAMY  look up translate image
A criminal offence committed when someone still legally married marries someone else.
BONA FIDE  look up translate image
true or genuine, given in good faith.
BRIEF  look up translate image
A document containing all the facts and points of law of a case by which a barrister is instructed by a solicitor to represent a client.
CALDERBANK LETTER  look up translate image
A 'without prejudice' letter making an offer of settlement prior to the case going to hearing. If the offer is rejected by the other party and the Court awards the same or less then there is the risk of having to pay the other party's costs from the date the offer was made as well as one's own.
CARE AND ATTENTION  look up translate image
A term used to describe an increase in a solicitor's bill which some solicitors apply if a case has been complex or has had to be dealt with especially quickly
CARE AND CONTROL  look up translate image
An old order pre-dating the Children Act 1989 - care and control orders are no longer made. It means the responsibility for looking after and making everyday decisions about a child and providing the child's main home base
CASE FILE  look up translate image
A complete collection of every document filed in court in a case.
CASE LAW  look up translate image
The law as established in previous court decisions. A synonym for legal precedent. Akin to common law, which springs from tradition and judicial decisions.
CAUSE OF ACTION  look up translate image
A legal claim.
CHANGE OF VENUE  look up translate image
Change of judge or location.
CHARGE ON PROPERTY  look up translate image
Security entitling the holder of the charge to be paid out of the proceeds of sale when a house (or other property) is eventually sold
CHART CHILD SUPPORT METHOD  look up translate image
Method used in some legal jurisdictions to establish a base for determining child support. Takes into account the gross incomes of both parents, less special adjustments (such as support paid for children of previous marriage), and a figure for the amount of money (usually stated as a monthly sum) that will be required to be spent for the child. The court has the authority to deviate from the formula as it deems necessary in each case.
CHATTELS  look up translate image
A legal term used for personal effects, usually of a house, like furniture, paintings, jewellery and ornaments
CHILD SUPPORT  look up translate image
The amount of money that the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to help pay for the every day needs of the child(ren) such as housing, food and clothing. Parents have a legal obligation to support their children. In a divorce, the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. If there is joint custody, the parent who has primary physical custody will receive child support from the other parent. Each state has child support guidelines that are used to determine the amount of child support.
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES  look up translate image
The amount of child support to be paid, under normal circumstances, according to a schedule established by the state, based upon income. It is federally mandated that all states establish guidelines for child support.
CHILDREN'S APPOINTMENT  look up translate image
this was a short hearing before a judge for certificate of satisfaction in respect of arrangements for any relevant children before decree nisi could be pronounced. They are no longer made since the Children Act came into force
CLEAN BREAK  look up translate image
A once and for all order that deals with all financial issues between spouses, provides for the dismissal of maintenance claims and is not capable of subsequent variations even if circumstances change.
CO-HABITATION  look up translate image
Living together when unmarried
CO-RESPONDENT  look up translate image
The person with whom the respondent has committed adultery
COBRA  look up translate image
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law giving you and your covered dependents the right to continue group health coverage on a self-paid basis if eligibility for employer-sponsored group medical and dental insurance is lost through loss of employment or through divorce. COBRA eligibility is usually for 18 or 36 months after the event.
COLA  look up translate image
Cost of Living Adjustment.
COLLUSION  look up translate image
an agreement between two or more persons that one of the parties brings false charges against the other. In a divorce case, the husband and wife may agree to use adultery as a ground in order to obtain a divorce more quickly, knowing full well that adultery was not committed. Collusion is illegal.
COMMON LAW  look up translate image
The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States that relies on the articulation of legal principles in a historical succession of judicial decisions. Common law principles can be changed by legislation.
COMMON LAW MARRIAGE  look up translate image
A judicially-recognized marriage in some states, usually based on cohabitation.
COMMUNITY PROPERTY  look up translate image
A rule of property division which divides equally all property acquired during the term of the marriage, without regard to whose name it is held. Inheritances and gifts are excluded in some jurisdictions.

In community property states, property that is acquired by the husband and wife during their marriage belongs to both. Property that was owned by either spouse prior to the marriage is their separate property. However, if separate property becomes commingled with community property it can become...(more)
COMPLAINANT  look up translate image
the one who files the suit, same as "plaintiff."
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Legal divorce terms
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Created on 2012-07-29 21:29:24
Number of terms 233
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Sources
  • Words and Terms You Should Know: Divorce and Family Law - Lawyers.com
    family-law.lawyers.com
    divorce, law, glossary, dictionary, definition, definitions, define, defined, meaning
  • Divorce - Common Legal Terms
    whathappensnow.com
    Common legal terms often used in divorce
  • Divorce Definition and Related Terms
    www.divorcerate.org
    Divorce terms and definitation with explainations.
  • Divorce Legal Terminology - Divorce HQ
    www.divorcehq.com
    A dictionary of legal and divorce reltaed terms. Words that you need to know when talking to your lawyer about a divorce.
  • Divorce Terminology
    www.ondivorce.co.uk
    An independent source of information, support, assistance and discussion on divorce in the UK, freely available at your fingertips
  • Divorce Terminology | AllLaw.com
    www.alllaw.com
    Divorce Terminology by Rebecca Berlin
  • Glossary of Divorce Words : DivorceTransitions
    www.divorcetransitions.com
    The Divorce Grieving Process
  • Separation, Divorce Grounds and Legal Process Explained
    www.divorceaid.co.uk
    Separating, grounds for divorce and the legal process simply explained