The following are words and their meanings that are commonly used in discussions related to a divorce in Mississippi:

8.05s: financial statements of individual spouses, the name is from the Mississippi Chancery Rule 8.05 requiring financial statements

ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME: gross income minus the allowed standard expenses such as taxes to determine the actual amount of income, used to calculate spousal and child support

ADMISSION: when a person agrees that something is true

AFFIDAVIT: written or typed statement by a person that is also notarized

ALBRIGHT FACTORS: the factors used to determine the best interest of the child and custody of children in dispute

ALIENATION OF AFFECTION:  when a third party steals the attention of your spouse and destroys your marriage

ALIMONY: money paid by one spouse to the other spouse either while a divorce is pending or after a divorce

BAILIFF: an officer of the Court to maintain peace, order and security in the Courthouse and all proceedings

CHANCELLOR: a judge that hears family law or estate issues

CHILD SUPPORT: support for the benefit of a minor child’s living or educational expenses, determined by agreement of the parents or by statutory guidelines

COMPLAINT: the initial document that is filed with the Court and officially starts a divorce case, “a complaint for divorce”

CONTINUITY OF CARE: a factor in determining custody which focuses on which parent actually takes care of the child or children prior to the divorce proceeding

COUNTERCLAIM: after the Complaint for Divorce is filed, the other spouse files a response or a Counterclaim for Divorce

CROSS EXAMINATION: at a hearing or trial, the opposing attorney asks questions to the witness testifying

CRUEL AND INHUMAN TREATMENT: an abuse grounds for divorce, either by proving to the Judge or admitted to by the offending spouse

DEPOSITIONS: questioning under oath of a witness, recorded and developed into a transcript or written copy for preparation of a trial

DIRECT EXAMINATION: at a hearing or trial, your lawyer asking your witnesses questions

DISCOVERY: settlement and trial preparation fact gathering

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY: ideally an equal and fair separation of marital assets

GUARDIAN AD LITEM:  person, typically a lawyer that is ordered by the Court to investigate and report to the Court regarding the best interest of a child

INTERROGATORIES: written questions from one spouse’s attorney to the other spouse to answer under oath

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES:  a basis for divorce where both spouses agree to the divorce without a judge having to decide in a hearing or trial

JUDGMENT: another word for a final order

JURISDICTION: the proper Court to hear a legal matter

LEGAL CUSTODY: the person or persons that get to make decisions for the child

LUMP SUM ALIMONY: spousal support paid out in one large payment, typically agreed to by the parties

MARITAL ASSET: property that is acquired during the marriage

MEDIATION: a meeting or series of meetings between husband and wife, their respective attorneys and a third party that attempts to determine and resolve the remaining issues in dispute to avoid the costs of trial

MOTION: verbal or written request for the Court to do something

NONMARITAL ASSET: property that is acquired before the marriage or acquired during the marriage but is not considered during separation of marital assets

OBJECTION: open disagreement noted on the Court’s record to evidence that the other side is trying to introduce

ORDER OF PROTECTION: order from a Judge intended to separate two people in a domestic relationship and prevent further abuse, may include other people such as minor children

PATERNITY: legal establishment as to who will be declared the legal father of a child

PERIODIC ALIMONY: spousal support paid in regular intervals as ordered, typically monthly, for living expenses

PHYSICAL CUSTODY: the person who the child will reside with

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT: a contract made before a marriage, in anticipation of marriage between prospective spouses that plans for distribution of assets if there is a divorce

PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: the written agreement of a divorce between both spouses regarding who gets what property, money issues such as alimony and child support and custody of children

QDRO: (quadro, sounds like) Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a special order of the Court stating how retirement plans are to be paid after a divorce

REHABILITATIVE ALIMONY:  spousal support for a limited time after a divorce to allow the spouse time to become financially independent from a former spouse’s income

REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS: a request for the other spouse to admit or deny certain facts at issue to the case, for discovery purposes

REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION: a request to produce or make available a certain thing, such as papers, objects, business records or recordings, for discovery purposes

RESTRAINING ORDER: an order from the Court restricting someone from certain conduct or contact with someone

SUBPOENA: official request from the Court to come to Court to testify or to bring something

SUMMONS: official notice of the Court that something has been filed and sometimes that a hearing is scheduled

TEMPORARY HEARING: usually short hearing to discuss things like possession of the home and support until the final hearing or reconciliation of the parties

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER: (“TRO”) a temporary order that prohibits some behavior or contact

TENDER YEARS DOCTRINE: a doctrine formerly used to determine child custody where the mother was favored over the father in custody of young children

UCCJEA: Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, federal law that determines the proper state with authority to decide child custody matters

WAIVER OF SERVICE OF PROCESS: a form signed and notarize to acknowledge that the person knows there is a pending divorce matter and does not need formal service of the divorce papers

WITHHOLDING ORDER: order for child support to be directly withheld from a employee’s paycheck

 

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