March 25, 2008

Some terms commonly used in Divorce

Affidavit A sworn statement in writing.

Alimony Payment of support (not child support) from one spouse to another so that the spouse receiving the payment can maintain the lifestyle that he/she was accustomed to during the marriage. Also called spousal support or maintenance.

Arrearages The difference between the amount of alimony or child support paid, if any, and the amount required under court order.

Community Property 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.

Pro Se To represent yourself in court proceedings without an attorney.

QDRO Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A ruling by the court stating what portion of one spouse's pension is to be awarded to the other spouse.

Quid Pro Quo The giving of one valuable thing for another.

Complaint The formal document filed with the Court which states that the plaintiff wants a divorce and why.

Contested Divorce The party sued opposes the because either : she/he denies the asserted grounds or he/she does not agree with the suing party as to the terms of the divorce i.e. property, child custody, child support, alimony, assumption of marital debts etc.

Custodial Parent The parent with whom the child(ren) live the majority of the time with.

Deposition Where a party or witness is asked questions orally before a court reporter.

Equitable Distribution The division of the property (marital assets) acquired during the marriage. Marital debts can also be part of the equitable distribution.

Mediation Process by which you work with a neutral third party to prepare your divorce agreement. This process is voluntary and non-binding.

Pendente Lite Support A temporary order of the Court which provides support until the divorce is finalized.

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