Family law attorneys help you and your family through a variety of legal problems, including divorce. Hiring an attorney is a good way to make sure your divorce is handled legally, and you and your spouse can come to some agreement about finances, money, children, and other important details. To fully understand what's going on during your divorce, there some legal terms you should be familiar with.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
An alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe different methods of solving a dispute out of court. There are a variety of ADRs available.
- Settlement conference
- Early neutral evaluation
Your attorney can discuss these options further with you if he or she feels one of these methods are necessary.
Alimony is the money paid by a husband or wife to a spouse for support. In some states it is called "spousal support" and is only required under certain circumstances.
Custody is an agreement between parents that defines their individual responsibilities for their children.
Divided custody is when parents each have primary physical custody of some of their children. The parents do not share custody of any of the children; instead each parent has primary custody of one or more of the children from the relationship.
The parenting plan, also known as the custody and visitation plan, states in writing how each parent will be involved in the children's lives. The plan takes the children's ages into consideration when deciding what type of help and support is needed. This plan uses the children's schedules and other aspects of their lives to determine which parent will make certain decisions for the minor children.
Best Interest Of The Child
When divorcing couples have minor children, the best interest of the child is term used by the court. It means that the court only considers facts that directly impact the child's well being when making custody decisions.
Both parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children. Child support is the money paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent with whom the children live to help care for their needs.
DNA testing is used to determine paternity of a child. It is a genetic test that requires the father, the mother, and the child in question to have the inside of their cheek swabbed to collect DNA for testing.
Guardian Ad Litem
Guardian ad litem, or GAL, is a person appointed to represent a child in a custody case or other family law cases. The GAL always considers what is in the best interest for a child or children, even if he or she does not agree with the parents.
When going through a divorce, it can be complicated, especially when child custody issues are involved. It is important to know what legal terms mean and ask your family law attorney for an explanation of terms you do not understand, so you can stay abreast of what is happening with your case. For more information about the process, contact a professional like Robert L. Flanagan.