The following glossary of terms in family law cases is found at SupportKids.com
When one spouse leaves the marital home without consent, it is called abandonment, and is grounds for divorce in some states.
The parent who does not live with or have custodial rights to the child, but is still responsible for support for the child. Usually referred to as the non-custodial parent.
The legal term for what is commonly called a lawsuit
ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS OFFICER
The official appointed instead of a judge to preside over a child in a divorce proceeding
Any form of testimony or evidence that is allowed into court
Sexual intercourse between a married spouse and a third party. In many states this is considered grounds for divorce.
A divorce in which spouses are unable to come to agreement
The opposition or the opposing party in a lawsuit. In a divorce, the litigant or adversary will most likely be your spouse.
A written statement of facts made voluntarily under oath, witnessed and signed by a notary public or another official authorized to administer oaths
New facts or legal defenses in response to the opposing spouse’s pleading
A legally enforceable, verbal or written resolution of disputes
Court-ordered spousal support that is separate and apart from child support. It may be paid in one lump sum or in installments. It can be temporary or permanent.
A pretrial order for spousal support. Also known as Temporary Support.
Claims made by one party against another in a legal action (lawsuit); usually claims by spouse against another in a divorce
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
Dispute resolution methods, including mediation and arbitration, which enable couples to reach a divorce settlement without trial
A legal action or lawsuit resulting in a court’s judgment that a marriage was never legally valid, or became invalid after the marriage
The formal response of a party to a divorce, separation, annulment or other petition in a legal action. The answer contains admission or denial of allegations made by or against the petitioner.
A legal procedure in which the losing party of a divorce action (or any lawsuit) requests that a higher court reviews the lower court’s decision
A formal submission to the courts by the defendant, either in person or through an attorney, in response to a complaint or summons
The individual who brings an appeal
The court in which an appeal is heard
To divide and assign property according to a definite rule. The division is not necessarily equal, but is fair according to the respective interests of the parties involved.
The procedure for determining the fair market value of an asset for equitable distribution in divorce
A legally binding, but not judicial, procedure, involving a neutral third party making a judgment on a case
The amount of past-due, court-ordered child support owed by the non-custodial parent. If a spouse does not pay the full amount of court-ordered support, or does not make payments as ordered, the amounts not paid are arrearages. Interest and penalties charged on past-due amounts become part of the arrearage.
Cash, property, investments, and anything else of value to an individual or business are considered assets.
A person receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF or welfare benefits) and/or Medicaid must give up their rights to, or make an “assignment” of child support or medical arrearages owed to them, as well as current medical or child support payments, because they are receiving TANF.
A hold that is placed on an asset pending judgment on a debt
AUTOMATIC INCOME DEDUCTION
A court-ordered child support system in which non-custodial parents have the support amount deducted directly from their paycheck or other income subject to child support enforcement
A decision made by a court or to compensate a party in a legal action; awards can be, but are not always monetary
The court attendant in charge of maintaining order in the courtroom
A legal proceeding in which a person requests the federal bankruptcy court to determine that person’s debts and assets that may be used to pay those debts. Some forms of bankruptcy discharge all consumer or “unsecured” debts if there are no assets to distribute to the creditors; however, child support and spousal support obligations cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
An order issued by a court for the arrest of a person who has failed to appear in court as ordered. A bench warrant can also be issued for a witness who has failed to appear in response to a subpoena.
BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD
Legal standard that governs decisions relating to visitation and custody
In some states, grounds for divorce and property rights/child support obligations are tried separately, in different lawsuits
A criminal offense committed when one spouse enters another marriage, and the previous marriage has not been legally terminated
BILL OF PARTICULARS
The formal title for information attached to a complaint or petition
Blood is drawn from a child and its parents and tested to determine biological parentage. It involves genetic DNA testing.
Truthfully, honestly and without deceit
A legal document presented to the court
BURDEN OF PROOF
One spouse must prove any claims made against the opposing spouse to the court. The claims must be supported with sufficient evidence.
An arrest warrant issued by a civil or family court ordering an officer to take a person into custody because they refuse to come to court or comply with an order of the court
The heading of a motion or other document that includes the names of the plaintiff and the defendant, the name of the court, the court term and the cause number
Also known as cause number. The number assigned to a case by the clerk of the court in which it is filed. Also known as the case number.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
A written statement proving to the court that a copy of a document was mailed to the person for whom it was intended
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
A written statement completed by a process server, proving to the court that a copy of a document was served to the person for whom it was intended
A copy of a court document. It includes a stamped seal from the court clerk confirming that the copy is a true and correct copy of the document in the court file.
CHANGE OF VENUE
A change of venue results in a case being transferred to another court in the same jurisdiction
Living arrangements and legal decision-making responsibilities concerning the child (See child support law summary for your state)
The money the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to help pay for the support of the child
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
The standard amount of support to be paid, established by the state legislature. A mathematical formula is used to calculate the proper amount of child support (See child support law summary for your state)
CHILD SUPPORT WORKSHEET
A form used to calculate child support guidelines
An order from a court that requires a court appearance
The court which presides over non-criminal cases
A charge by one spouse against another
Transferring ownership of an asset without any encumbrances, obstructions or burdens that present reasonable question of law or fact of ownership
The person responsible for maintaining court records and ensuring procedures are executed in an orderly fashion
The individual identified as the partner in an adulterous relationship
Federal legislation guaranteeing all individuals who are covered by medical insurance the right to continue coverage for a monthly fee if employment or marital status changes for a limited period of time
Two people living together outside of marriage. This can be grounds for termination of support in some states. (See your state section of divorce laws)
A cost of living adjustment – COLA
A marriage in which no formal ceremony took place and no license exists
COMMON-LAW PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION
The method of dividing property in a divorce according to the titleholder of the property
All income or property acquired during the marriage, with exception to gifts or inheritances
The initial pleading filed for divorce with specific grounds stated. It includes the names of the parties involved, allegations and relief requested of the court.
Attempt to establish an agreement between divorcing spouses concerning the children and other areas in which they do not agree
Misconduct of a spouse is no longer grounds of divorce as a result of forgiveness by the other spouse
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
A professional is not capable of performing services due to previous relationships or present relationships, and/or a situation where confidentiality can be broken
A court-ordered relationship between a child and his or her parents
A person given the legal right to serve process
Refusal of one spouse to engage in sexual relations with the other spouse. In some states this is considered grounds for divorce if it lasts for a certain length of time.
CONSTRUCTIVE OR ALTERNATIVE SERVICE OF PROCESS
Service of process is delivered through other methods such as a newspaper, because the whereabouts of the spouse are unknown, also known as service by publication. (See Service of Process)
CONTEMPT OF COURT
Any deliberate failure to comply with the legal process, including the disruption of the court and proceedings. In child support cases, contempt is disobedience of a court order to pay child support. If a non-custodial parent is found in contempt for non-payment of support, they may end up in jail.
A divorce where at least one issue has not been settled by the spouses before they appear in court. The court must decide the unsettled issue or issues.
A fee agreement in which the attorney does not get paid unless their client wins the case. This type of arrangement is generally not allowed in divorce and custody cases.
Postponing a scheduled court hearing to a later time
To transfer property to someone by selling it or by other means
A statement of facts clearly defining the complaint
A pleading filed by the defendant (respondent) against the plaintiff (petitioner)
The administrative personnel of the court who handle the filings for court procedures and answer questions concerning them
A written document issued by a court and signed by a judge ordering a person to do something; examples of court orders include child support orders, divorce decrees and temporary orders (See court order page for your state)
COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS
The state trial-level courts that have authority to grant divorce
The period of time a women is married
A person to whom money is owed
CROSS REFERENCE CASE
A separate case involving one parent in common, but in which there are other children from a different mother or father
Questioning a witness of the opposing party in court or a deposition, after direct examination. The purpose is testing the credibility of the witness or pursuing questions advantageous to the action.
Statement of reasons for the breakdown of a marriage issued by the defendant. The reasons generally will be different than that of the plaintiff.
CUSTODIAL PARENT (CP)
The parent a child lives with, who makes legal decisions concerning the child, and who is entitled to receive child support for the non-custodial parent. Several different types of custody arrangements are available, see child support law summary for your state.
The legal right and responsibility to raise a minor child and to make decisions in their interest
Financial harm caused by actions of another person, which can be cured with financial restitution or reimbursement
A person who owes money
An order of the court. The final decision made on an action (lawsuit) for divorce is a divorce decree.
The failure of a defendant to file an answer or personally appear in court after they have been served. Default may serve as the basis of a court order.
DEFAULT ORDER OR JUDGMENT
Order or judgment made based only on the plaintiff’s complaint, due to no response or appearance of the defendant
The spouse who defends against the lawsuit brought against them by the other spouse
DEFERRED COMPENSATION PACKAGE
This includes all retirement assets (such as a pension, 401K, IRA) and any other saving or postponed income earned during the marriage
Testimony of a witness under oath and reduced to writing. It is also used to question opposing spouse.
When a spouse leaves the marital home for more than a year, without prior agreement between the spouses, without paying support, and not as a result of actions of remaining spouse. Desertion is one of several grounds for a fault divorce in many states.
Initial questioning of a witness called to the stand by an attorney
Child or spousal support paid directly to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent
Revocation of an attorney’s license to practice law
The formal procedure, according to rules of the court, for gathering information pertaining to the opposing party’s case. The term may also be used for the interview procedure between the attorney and the client at the initial meeting.
DISCRETION OF THE COURT
Ability of the judge to make decisions after reviewing evidence
Termination of a case without a final disposition of the matter
Gross income, less deductions for taxes, insurance, and in some cases union dues. The amount of child support is often set by a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s disposable income.
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
Legal judgment that severs a marital relationship and returns both spouses to single status
A final decree required to legally terminate a valid marriage
The calendar schedule of the court
The number assigned by a court to a civil or criminal case, which appears on all documents filed to identify court actions in a specific case
A person’s legal residence
A wife’s common law right to inherit from her husband
The age, typically 18 or 21, at which a minor legally becomes an adult. Emancipation can also occur if a minor marries or enters the armed forces (See child support law summary for your state)
When a lien, mortgage or other restraint is placed against a property
EQUITABLE DIVISION (DISTRIBUTION)
A system of equitably dividing property, acquired by spouses during their marriage, in connection with a divorce proceeding
A right or interest in property, or actual property of a deceased person
Documents, testimony and other information submitted to the court to support or disprove allegations in pleadings
Court relief granted without notice to or attendance of opposing party
An item of evidence presented to the court
A professional used to help a judge reach a decision
Court with jurisdiction over child support, divorce and comparable issues
Legal principles and concepts supporting the idea that child custody and support decisions must not discriminate against fathers
A divorce granted when one member of the marriage is guilty of marital misconduct. (See divorce section for you state for grounds for fault-based divorce.)
A criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year
Personal delivery of a document to a court clerk in order for the document to be included in the official records of a case
In some jurisdictions, when courts grant divorces, judgments do not become “final judgments” until the expiration of a statutory waiting period known as the “interlocutory” or “nisi” period. (See summary of divorce law for your state) This period begins when the interlocutory judgment or initial judgment of divorce is entered and ends upon the “final judgment” being entered. After a final judgment is entered, the marriage is legally terminated.
A court order issued by another county, state or nation outside of the jurisdiction in which the custodial parent lives
A term meaning of, or pertaining to, courts of law. For example, forensic accountants value marital assets, and forensic counselors evaluate custody and visitation issues.
Evidence that must be presented before asking certain questions or offering documentary evidence on trial
Employer, bank, insurance company or other party upon whom a judgment creditor places a Writ of Garnishment, because that entity holds assets due the original debtor. For example, if a non-custodial parent (non-custodial parent) does not pay court-ordered child support, the custodial parent may garnish the wages of the non-custodial parent, and receive payments directly from the non-custodial parent’s employer, who is the garnishee.
An order sent to a person or entity (garnishee) that is giving the non-custodial parent money. Also the legal proceeding where part of a person’s wages is withheld and applied to payment of a debt, such as child support.
GARNISHMENT OF WAGES
A support enforcement process by which support payments are automatically deducted from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck and delivered to the custodial parent. This is an involuntary enforcement method of paying court-ordered support.
The standard of good cause can be used by a custodial parent receiving TANF or public assistance to excuse them from cooperating with state child support enforcement agencies. Because cooperation could potentially endanger themselves as well as their children. The standard of good cause is usually applied as a result of documented violence and abuse by the non-custodial parent. A custodial parent that is also a recipient of TANF or public assistance is usually required to cooperate with the child support enforcement agency as a condition of receiving assistance, by sharing address information used to locate the non-custodial parent. Using the standard of good cause, because cooperation could endanger the welfare recipient and the children, the custodial parent can be excused from cooperating. A good cause finding is usually the result of documentation of violence and abuse by the non-custodial parent.
Absence of intent to commit fraud
Legal basis for a divorce
GUARDIAN AD LITEM (GAL)
An adult, often court-appointed, representing the non-legal interests of a minor child in a divorce. GALs are trained social workers, counselors or other professionals.
The place a person resides ‘as of habit ‘ or permanently, for legal purposes
The inability of a parent to support his or her children because of financial distress
HEALTH INSURANCE ORDER
A court order instructing the non-custodial parent to purchase health and dental insurance for their children or add them to an existing policy. (See child support law summary for your state)
Any proceeding before a court where testimony is given and arguments are heard
Anything a person claims he or she was told by someone else. Most of the time, hearsay cannot be used as evidence in a trial.
An agreement in which one person agrees to assume full liability for an obligation and protect another person from loss or expense as a result of that obligation
A witness showing prejudice during testimony, so that the party who called them will actually do a cross-examination
Act of proving a witness is not credible due to inconsistent statements or other conflicting evidence
Proceedings held in judges’ chambers without participating parties. This is usually the procedure used when children testify.
INCOME AND EXPENSE DECLARATION
Form completed under oath by a parent stating their income, assets, expenses and liabilities. It is used to determine child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent.
Part of civil law, making one document part of another. For example, the Agreement becomes part of the Decree in Divorce.
A court order preventing a specific person from doing a specific act because it is likely to cause physical, mental injury or property loss of another individual
State child support enforcement agencies “intercept” or take portions of a non-custodial parent’s unemployment insurance payments, disability insurance payments, income tax returns, and lottery winnings to pay child support arrearages to custodial parents.
Any hearing at which a pretrial or court ruling is requested
Questions served upon the opposing party in a divorce proceeding to gain knowledge of issues in the marriage
INVENTORY AND APPRAISEMENT
Listing and valuation of properties owned by the parties seeking a divorce
A governmental agency operating at the state level authorized under the federal Social Security Act to recover delinquent child support. For example, in Texas, the IV-D agency is the Attorney General’s Office.
JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY
Custody in which the parents of minor children share responsibilities and major decision-making activities related to the child. (See child custody section for your state.)
JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY
Custody in which the parents of minor children share actual physical custody of the child (See child custody section for your state)
Property held in the name of more than one person
Form of joint ownership in which each joint owner has an equal share
The ruling or order of the court. The judgment is the official decision regarding child support and can be found in the divorce decree or order. (See court order page for your state)
JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE
A formal written document stating that a man and a woman are divorced, prepared by an attorney and presented to the court for the judge to sign. In most states, this is recognized as the Divorce Decree or Decree of Dissolution. (See final judgment)
Power of the court to rule on issues related to the parties, their children and their property. Also the legal authority a court has over certain types of cases, in a defined geographical area.
An attorney typically assigned by the judge to represent the child or children in intense custody battles
Authority of one parent or both parents to make legal decisions regarding health, education and welfare of the child or children
A legal action, similar to divorce, that involves the time spouses live separately and apart prior to a divorce being granted
Considerations made by parties pertaining to issues that are being disputed
Taking of property by an officer, with a Writ of Execution (See Writ of Execution)
An administrative action suspending or revoking certain licenses and permits issued by the state, as a result of non-payment of child support this could include driver’s licenses, hunting and fishing permits and occupational licenses. License revocation varies by state.
A claim attached to a property owned by a judgment debtor. It prevents sale, transfer of title or refinancing of the property until the debt is satisfied.
Process of arguing a legal dispute in the court system
A law which allows one state to claim personal jurisdiction over someone living in another state. It is used by a court to gain jurisdiction over an non-custodial parent who has moved to another state.
A spousal support that is ordered to be paid in a fixed (lump-sum) amount. The completion of the payment may be made in one total payment or installment payments.
Person who performs the functions of a judge but does not have power to issue a court order. Judges sometimes pass work to magistrates or masters, who in turn make recommendations to the judge about case.
Spousal support or alimony
Property acquired by the spouses during the marriage. Typically, it does not include property owned prior to marriage.
MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
Written agreement entered into by both spouses in a divorce stating their rights and agreements pertaining to property, support and custody
Non-adversarial divorce procedure in which spouses reach a settlement with the assistance of a neutral third party trained in the divorce process
A neutral person who presides over the mediation process
Health insurance coverage for supported children. Provided at reasonable or no cost to one or both parents, and includes medical, vision and dental care coverage.
Child support deduction from the salary of a non-custodial parent on active duty in the United States military
Official record of a court proceeding, prepared by the court clerk. It is not a judgment.
A criminal offense where the punishment cannot be longer than one year in prison
A trial that is terminated due to an error that makes the trial invalid
An order that changes the terms of another order. Often refers to raising or lowering of the amounts ordered for child support.
A written or oral request to the court for action; an application to a judge for an order or ruling
MOTION TO MODIFY
Written request to the court to change a previous order regarding child custody, support, alimony or other divorce-related decisions
Divorce that may be granted even though no spouse has performed any kind of marital misconduct – there had been “no fault”
Parent who does not have primary or physical custody of their child, and who typically is paying child support
Property considered by the courts to belong to one spouse or the other and is not available for equitable distribution
Decree indicating that a marriage is null and void
Verbal response of a lawyer when something inappropriate happens or is said during a trial or deposition. It designed to protect the court record.
Amount of money to be paid as support by the non-custodial parent, and the way it is to be paid
A person to whom money or property is owed as the result of a judgment. In child support cases, it is the person to whom support is owed.
A person who owes money or property as the result of a judgment. In child support cases, it is the person who owes support.
A lawyer’s opening remarks, addressed to the judge, at the beginning of a trial
Belief held by a person. In court, witnesses are restricted to only stating facts and not permitted to express an opinion. Only qualified expert witnesses can express an opinion.
A court’s specific ruling on a disputed issue; a written decision of the court requiring that someone do something
ORDER AFTER HEARING
Written order, signed by a judge, and issued after a hearing
ORDER OF EXAMINATION
Court proceeding during which a judgment debtor is questioned under oath about their assets
ORDER OF PROTECTION
An order assigned by the court to prevent a spouse from doing something, typically, harassing the other spouse. If the spouse refuses to abide by the order, they may be arrested and put jail.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
A court order requiring appearance in court, on a specific date and time, of a party to a civil action. This appearance is scheduled to explain why the court should not take a particular action in the case. For example, an Order to Show Cause can be issued to a non-custodial parent, requiring them to appear and explain why they should not be held in contempt of court for failure to obey an order to pay child support.
Support paid from one person to another, although they were never married
A trained person who assists a lawyer
A doctrine that-enables a state to take jurisdiction over a minor living within its border. This is the basis for determining what state will assume jurisdiction in a child custody case.
Organized classes to teach parents techniques to minimize the negative aspects of divorce on their children
A plaintiff or a defendant in a legal proceeding
The legal, biological relationship between father and child
A legal document signed by both the mother and the father that has the legal effect of a court order for paternity
Legal determination of a child’s father
Intentionally lying under oath in court
Power of the court to make and enforce orders regarding an individual
Property that is not real estate
Title given to the first document filed in a divorce proceeding
The person who initiates a divorce by filing the petition. Also known as the plaintiff.
The parent with whom the child resides has physical custody. Depending upon arrangements, it may be joint or sole custody.
Individual who files the divorce petition initiating the divorce. Also know as the petitioner.
Formal written application to the court, requesting court action
Written contract between husband and wife stating all present and future rights in view of their impending divorce
An order addressed to the clerk of the court, asking the court to act
The portion at the end of a pleading stating action that is requested of the court
A past event that influences how similar events will be viewed by the court in the future
Legal contract signed by two people before they get married. Typically, it involves limitations on a spouse’s rights to property, support and inheritance upon divorce.
The parent who provides majority of the child’s ongoing daily care
A spouse’s right to make admissions to an attorney or counselor that can not later be used as evidence
PRO SE DIVORCE
Divorce in which each spouse represents themselves in court, without an attorney
Period of time during which the sentence of a defendant is suspended, and they must agree to certain terms and conditions of good behavior
County officer with the responsibility of supervising and monitoring people on formal probation
Court clerk in charge of civil filings
Money granted from the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program to a person or family for living expenses
QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (QDRO)
A court ruling stating that a portion of one spouse’s pension be awarded to the other spouse as part of the equitable distribution of the marital assets
To release legal claim. For example, a quit claim deed is a document relinquishing claim to the deed to the marital house.
Physical land and improvements affixed to the land
All interests, benefits and rights inherent in the ownership of physical real estate
Evidence introduced in response to an issue raised by the opposing party
Cooperation between states and countries to establish and enforce child support orders. Laws and court orders of each jurisdiction are mutually recognized and enforced.
All testimony and evidence used in court to decide a case. The record is what judges use to make decisions.
The second round of cross-examination that occurs after redirect in a trial
The second round of direct examination that occurs in the trial after cross-examination
The entity through which the court receives and disburses money, as in child support payments
Alimony intended to help the ex-spouse become financially self-sufficient
A fixed amount stated in a judgment that orders the defendant to pay back to the government welfare that the government paid on behalf of the child
A document that frees or removes a person’s right or claimed right to something. It is usually given in exchange for something, usually a reciprocal release or money.
Sending a case back to the judge to be retried as a result of a significant mistake made by the judge during the first trial
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION
Part of the Discovery process. One attorney asks that the other side produce financial documents he or she feels are necessary to the case.
Defendant in a divorce
Formal document filed by the defendant (respondent) to answer the complaint or summons
Court order restricting a person’s actions. They are sometimes issued by one spouse to try to deter the other spouse from committing violent acts.
Fee paid to an attorney to work on a case
A written contract between lawyer and client delineating their responsibilities to each other
RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP
The right of joint owners to receive the other’s share of property upon the death of the other owner
RULES OF EVIDENCE
Rules pertaining to the deliverance of evidence in hearings or depositions
SALES COMPARISON APPROACH
A set of procedures in which an appraiser derives a value indication by comparing the property being appraised to similar properties that have been sold recently, applying appropriate units of comparison, and making adjustments, based on the elements of comparison, to the sale prices of the comparables.
Court-ordered punishment, could be a fine or jail
An action filed for support between two spouses not living together even though the spouse’s are not actively seeking a divorce
Property considered to be owned by one spouse prior to marriage, which in most states in not up for distribution upon divorce
When spouses no longer co-habitate or live together
An agreement on support, child care and property covering the period before divorce but after separation
SERVICE OF PROCESS
The act of presenting the complaint or summons to the defendant or respondent usually done by a process server, a sheriff, a constable or by certified mail
To cancel, annul, or revoke a prior judgment of a court
A debt or financial obligation of one spouse that the court weighs against a debt or financial obligation of the other spouse
The written version of the settlement
The understanding that one clause in a contract is independent of the others
A form of custody in which one parent is awarded both physical and legal custody
A form of custody in which the actual time of physical custody is split between both parents, which gives both parents the right to make decisions
Money paid from one spouse to the other in one lump sum or in installments for a period of time. There are many factors considered. (see divorce law summary for your state)
Husband or wife
An agreement between the parties or their counsel, upon which the court makes an order or judgment
As a result of a motion, the court may remove, or “strike” pleadings and evidence from the court record upon finding the material irrelevant, submitted without proper notice, or scandalous.
A document that is delivered to a person who is not directly involved in the action filed, but is needed to testify.
A written notification to the defendant or respondent that an action has been filed against him or her
Payment for housing, food, clothing etc.
Evidence the defendant can present to counter rebuttal evidence
The process by which a child support judgment debtor’s federal and state income tax refunds are diverted to pay a support arrearage
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
Financial support in the form of a cash grant, given to a family with children in need of financial help. The grant is offered because the head of the family or custodial parent is not employed and not receiving child support or assistance from the non-custodial parent. Formerly called AFDC – Aid to Families with Dependent Children. TANF does not include Medicaid, food stamps or WIC benefits. These must be applied for separately.
A spouse’s right to have parenting time with his or her child. It includes extended stays and overnights.
A written decision of a court requiring that someone do something (like pay child support) or not do something until a final order is issued
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
An order of the court prohibiting a party from acting-for example, threatening, harassing, or physically abusing the other spouse and/or the children; selling personal property; taking money out of accounts; denying the other spouse a motor vehicle
TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
Sometimes referred to as relinquishment of parental rights; the court-ordered end of a parent/child relationship, often as a prelude to an adoption and sometimes ending the obligation of the non-custodial parent to pay child support. Termination is different than relinquishment; termination is involuntary, relinquishment is voluntary.
Statements delivered under oath at a hearing or deposition
Any wrongful act creating legal liability against the person who committed the tort
A written presentation of testimony given at a trial or at a deposition
To change ownership from one person to another
A welfare program by which welfare recipients who stop receiving TANF due to employment, but who can’t afford to pay childcare costs, receive subsidized childcare assistance, usually for one year
A formal court hearing to decide the disputed issues filed in the complaint or summons
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Uniform laws passed by each state that govern the procedures for the interstate establishment and enforcement of paternity and child support. Replaced the old URESA laws.
A divorce proceeding in which there are no disputes
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, the statute which formerly enabled one state to request assistance from another state in establishing or enforcing a child support order against a parent located in the other state. Now governed by UIFSA.
The county in which the court with jurisdiction will hear the matter
An oath stating that the information in a document is true
The right of the parent who does not have physical custody to see their child
A percentage applied to a child support calculation, reflecting the amount of time a child resides with the non-custodial parent
A list of dates stating times each parent may see each child
WAGE ASSIGNMENT OR WAGE WITHHOLDING
A court order requiring the employer of a non-custodial parent to deduct a specific amount of money for child support from the wages of the non-custodial parent. Also known as garnishment.
Written document that relinquishes an individual’s rights
Person having knowledge of facts or other information pertaining to a specific situation
WRIT OF EXECUTION
A court order authorizing the seizure of assets owned by a non-custodial parent who owes past due child support. The order usually authorizes the seizure of assets up to the total amount of past due child support owed under the judgment. It is also know as a levy.