As a continuation of An Overview of Common Divorce Terms and Definitions (Part 1), the following are some additional terms that are commonly used during divorce proceedings.
- Equitable distribution – The distribution of marital property between divorcing parties. This division of property is not necessarily 50-50 between the parties and, instead, is based on the court’s assessment after reviewing all of the facts of the case.
- Legal custody – The legal right to make decisions regarding a child’s welfare. Legal custody is different from physical custody, in which a parent provides physical care for and has custody of a child. While a parent may have some rights to legal custody for a child, he may or may not have physical custody rights over that child. A parent that is not granted physical custody is referred to as the non-custodial parent.
- Plaintiff – The individual, who also may be referred to as the petitioner, who initiates the divorce proceeding. The other party in the proceeding who answers the claim made by the plaintiff or petitioner is referred to as the defendant or the respondent.
- Prenuptial or premarital agreement – A legal contract entered into prior to a marriage that stipulates each parties’ rights and entitlements in the event of a divorce or the death of one of the parties.
- Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) – A court mandate regarding how retirement benefits of divorcing parties are to be split up and distributed among them.
When it comes to going through a divorce or dealing with any matter of family law, such as child custody or parental rights, do not try to settle the case without the help of a skilled family lawyer. Working with the Colorado family law attorneys at the Law Office of Mike Hulen can be essential to ensuring that your rights are fully protected and that your family law matters are resolved as favorably as possible. For years, we have been successful at helping our Clients negotiate favorable divorce settlements, child custody agreements, alimony payments, etc. Contact us at (303) 932-8666 to learn more about your rights and receive professional advice regarding the best manner in which to proceed with your case.