Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Common words used in a DIY divorce


A divorce involves complex laws and procedures. The legal words, court papers and documents can be confusing. So, to avoid any mistake while handling legal work it is necessary to know about the words and terminology of the same.

Alimony: It is the amount of money one spouse pays to the other on court orders. It can be paid periodically or lump sum payment.

Affidavit: It is any written statement which is voluntarily signed under oath to support a motion. You should have proper knowledge of all the matters asserted, or else it can be used against you in the court.

Annulment: Itís the court judgment that a marriage is not legally valid or becomes invalid. Most of the annulments are obtained for religious reasons through a religious tribunal.

Arrearages: It is the amount of money deficient or unpaid, other than court ordered alimony. Any decrease in the amount of such payments is not thought to be an arrearage.

Automatic Court orders: refers to court orders; goes into effect when the divorce process begins after filing the divorce. it refrains the party from transferring the assets without prior leave of court or other partyís permission.

Best interest of the child: It is the legal standard regarding child related decisions and custody etc.

Broken down: It says that there is no hope left for reconciling between husband and wife. Hence, the reason for granting a divorce.

Child support: It the money paid, on court orders, by non custodial parent to the custodial parent to meet the financial needs of the child. It is not tax deductible by non custodial parent, nor includable in custodial parentís taxable income.

Complaint(petition for divorce): A legal document which files your complaint and initiates your divorce case, telling the court about both parties, reasons for the divorce, all the claims against the defendant and other grants.

Contested and Uncontested Divorce: In case of contested divorce, the parties have not made an agreement of separation whereas, in contested divorce, both the parties make a settlement to agree on all the matters and present an executed separation agreement to the court.

Court: It the place where judge makes the judgement

Custody: A legal status which gives authority to the parent (either to one parent or jointly to both) to approve all major decisions related to child. Physical custody of the child i.e. where he resides, depends on parenting and visitation plans.

Defendant: The other party who is served with the divorce papers is the defendant party.

Dissolution: The legal end of marriage i.e. divorce.

Docket Number: A unique number is assigned by the court clerk to every case. It is used on all the case documents and also helpful for future references. The case is said to be docketed by the court.

Filing: The case is said to be filed when you submit the divorce case papers at court clerkís office.

Financial Affidavit: It is the most important court document containing statement of income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Each party must file a complete furnished court financial statement.

Judgement: it the courtís final decision. It may include statement for remarriage.


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