An Overview of Some Common Divorce Terms
As you go through the divorce process, you will likely encounter a number of legal terms you might not have heard before. Here are a few examples of some common divorce terms of which you should be aware:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): ADR refers to any type of out-of-court process for settling a divorce. Examples include mediation, arbitration, negotiation and collaborative divorce.
- Annulment: When granted, an annulment voids the marriage and rules it was either never valid in the first place, or was invalidated somehow after the marriage occurred.
- Custodial parent: The parent who has primary custody over the child, or the parent with whom the child resides.
- Divorce decree: The final court order that outlines all of the elements of your divorce, and the document that renders your marriage officially over.
- Equitable distribution: The manner by which property and debts are distributed. “Equitable” in this case does not necessarily mean equal, but it does mean fair.
- Grounds for divorce: New York is one state that allows you to select grounds for divorce, which can allow the divorce to be processed more quickly. Common grounds include abuse, adultery, desertion and long-term incarceration.
- Paternity: The established relationship between a father and child.
- Premarital assets: Assets acquired before the official start date of the marriage.
- Residency requirement: The amount of time a person is required to live in a certain state before they are eligible to file for divorce in that state.
- Summons: An official notice from a court to a defendant that the defendant must respond to the included petition or complaint.
To protect your best interests throughout your divorce, consult a dedicated Long Island family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.