Divorce Filing Terminology: Understanding Legal Terms And Definitions

A step you can take now is to understand what filing for divorce means, and what the proceedings to follow indicate in practical terms. This step is geared towards knowing legal terminologies you may encounter. 

We hope that this list will allow you insight into the legalities and particulars of a divorce case. 

Divorce Case Terms

1. Alimony 

Alimony is a word that describes what one party is required to provide to the other, via financial support. It is frequently used interchangeably with the terms “spousal maintenance” and/or “spousal support”. And these are exactly what it is. To support the ex-spouse financially.

It is a percentage of your income that is to be allotted to your former spouse and will be handed over to him or to her on a regular basis. The terms of alimony will depend per state, and per divorce case. 

2. Child Support Arrearage And Defaulting

This has a link to its root word “arrears”, with the latter defined as being behind on payments, whether in part on in whole. In the context of divorce and child support, an “arrearage” implies that a former spouse is late with paying his or her share of the financial arrangement for a child/children. 

A default, on the other hand, refers to the obligor himself or herself. If you have not been timely with your child support dues, you shall be tagged as in default of your child support obligations. 

An arrearage is an amount that is past due and is what the defaulted obligor needs to settle as soon as possible. Otherwise, the court of law will once again intervene to impose stricter measure to ascertain that this will be avoided altogether. 

3. Interrogatories 

Interrogatories are a formal, albeit legal, set of questions that a litigant can present to another. Said questions should have answers verified by the same person who received the document in the first place. 

This formal register or report will also be assumed to stand as a certification that all the answers you have provided are complete and truthful, without misleading information and/or statements.

4. Marital Property And Nonmarital Property 

Marital property defines property and/or assets that were obtained from the day of marriage (completion and verification of the marriage contract) until the period when one of the parties proactively made a move towards filing for a divorce. 

These could be anything from property and/or real estate, businesses and related stocks, money, other assets (i.e. furniture, jewellery, automobile, etc.). 

In contrast, non-marital property is one that is obtained by each party prior to the culmination of the marriage (before the date of the marriage contract completion). 

These two terms are important to help the courts allocate which assets and/or property are to be divided equitably between you and your spouse, and which ones are to be granted in whole to either one.

5. Prenuptial Agreement 

A prenuptial agreement states what each spouse’s roles, responsibilities, and rights are, should the marriage be dissolved whether by natural causes (i.e. death) or by filing for a divorce and/or an annulment. 

Often used interchangeably with the term “premarital agreement”, your divorce attorney in houston will aid you in ensuring that the pre-agreed upon asset distribution in the event of a divorce is pursued to the detail.  

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