Written Testimony Under Oath Usually Sworn in Front of a Notary.
Alimony - payments
made to support a current or former spouse.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
- ways for parties to a divorce case to resolve disagreements without a trial.
This is usually accomplished through mediation or arbitration.
Annulment - an
order which nullifies the marriage, or declares that no marriage ever existed.
Answer - a
document used to respond to a complaint. Answers usually admit or deny specific
allegations or claims in the document being answered.
Appeal - a
procedure to ask the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court to review the ruling of
the lower court.
lawyer files a Notice of Appearance whereby the party voluntary submits to the
power of the court.
submitting a disputed matter for decision to a person who is not a judge. The
decision of the arbitrator is usually binding and final.
Child Support -
money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the support
of the children.
Complaint - the
first document filed in a case setting forth the facts upon which the Plaintiff’s
claim is based.
Contempt of Court
- failure to comply with a court order by a person who is able to comply. It
also includes conduct in the court which obstructs a court and the
administration of justice.
Counter-claim - a
pleading asking for a divorce or other relief filed in response to a petition.
- asking questions of a witness who is put on the stand by the other lawyer.
Cross-examination is usually intended to discredit the witness or weaken the
effect of a testimony.
Default - failure
to do something or do it on time.
Defendant - the
spouse that is sued for divorce.
testimony taken under oath before a court reporter, but not in court.
- asking questions of a witness by the lawyer who called the witness.
procedures used to learn facts necessary to settle or prepare a case for trial.
Evidence - proof
presented at a hearing, including testimony, documents or objects.
tangible things presented at trial of evidence.
Ex-Parte - any
application to a court for relief made when only one side is present.
Grounds - the
conduct or circumstances which must be proved to entitle a person to a divorce.
- a person appointed by a judge to represent a person legally unable to do so,
such as a minor child.
Hearing - any
proceeding for a judicial officer.
Injunction - a
court order which requires a party to do some act or prohibit the party from
doing some act.
listing questions served on the other party who is required to serve sworn
written answers within a specified time. This is a method of discovery.
any arrangement which gives both parents legal responsibility for the care of a
Judgment - the
decision of the court.
Jurisdiction - the
power of a court to decide a particular marriage.
Marital Property -
interest in property acquired by the spouses during the marriage which is to be
divided between the parties at divorce.
Marital Dissolution Agreement
- the written agreement made between the parties settling the issues in a
divorce. This is used in an irreconcilable differences divorce.
Mediation - A
dispute resolution process which a disinterested third party, the mediator,
assists the parties in reaching an agreement.
Motion - an
application of the court for an order.
Modification - a
change in the judgment based on a change of circumstance.
Perjury - The
crime of lying under oath. It includes lying during the trial, at a deposition
or in a written affidavit. It can be punishable by imprisonment.
Pleading - a
document filed with the court which asks for something or responds to a pleading
file with the other party.
Privilege - a
client’s right to refuse to disclose confidential communications between the
client and certain persons in a professional relationship with the client such
as lawyers, doctors, psychologists, etc.
Requests for Production
- a written request where one party asking the other party to turn over tangible
objects, usually documents.
Retainer - money
paid by the client to the lawyer to obtain a commitment from the lawyer to
handle the client’s case. A retainer is a deposit against which the lawyer’s
fees are charged as they are earned. Some retainers are refundable and some are
not. You will need to check with your lawyer.
Subpoena - a
document served on a party or witness commanding appearance at a certain time or
place. A subpoena duces tecum is a command to produce documents, papers or other
things listed in the subpoena.
Summons - the
written notification of the lawsuit that is served on the defendant.
Temporary Orders -
orders granting relief for filing of the lawsuit and the judgment.
Trial - the final
hearing in court to decide the issues in the case.
Visitation - the
right of the non-custodial parent to spend time with the child.