Divorce Vocabulary

Divorce Lawyer GlendaleWhen you go through a divorce, you may encounter many legal terms you are unfamiliar with. Understanding what these terms mean will make it easier to go through the process.

Community Property: All assets acquired during marriage in Arizona are community property and are divided equally in the divorce.

Default Hearing: When the respondent does not respond to the divorce papers, the case continues without him and a default hearing is held to complete the divorce.

Dissolution of Marriage: This is another term for a divorce.

Early Resolution Management Conference: Every case where the parties are not represented by an attorney is required to have a conference where the parties and their attorneys meet with a Family Law Case Manager who will identify the issues of agreement and dispute for the Judge. That Case Manager will file an Early Resolution Statement identifying these matters for the Court. The Case Manager generally does not aid in settlement of the issues and is not a mediator.

Decree of Dissolution/ Consent Decree of Dissolution: This document is issued by the court and details  exactly what the judge decides in your case. This document also formally ends your marriage.

Legal Decision Making: When there are children, the court establishes how the parents will share legal decision making. In the past this was referred to as legal custody.

Mediation: Mediation is a process in which you and your spouse work with a neutral third-party mediator who helps you reach agreements on your own regarding Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time with your children. Mediation does not resolve money issues, division of debt or support issues.

Alternative Dispute Resolution:  This process allows the party to meet with an attorney or Judge to attempt to resolve issues in the divorce usually related to support, division of  debt and assets.

Parenting Time: How parents share their time with their child is called parenting time. This is sometimes referred to as visitation or a parenting time plan.

Petition For Dissolution: This is the document that is filed to begin a divorce.

Petitioner: The person who is asking for the divorce.

Respondent: The spouse who is served with divorce papers.

Response: The spouse served with divorce papers replies by filing a Response. This often explains what the Respondent agrees or disagrees with and states his or her position about the issues in the case.

Separation: Spouses who live apart are separated. It is possible to get a legal separation by filing for one with the court.

Service: Arizona has specific legal requirements about how divorce papers must be given to the respondant called service of process.

The attorneys at the Sampair Group are skilled in divorce and family law. We serve all of the Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Find out how we can help you with your case.