If you are getting divorced, here are some words that you should know. The following terms that are defined below:

Alimony , Annulment, Arrearages, Automatic Court Orders, Broken Down Irretrievably, Child Support, Complaint, Custody, Defendant, Dissolution, Docket Number, Filing, Financial Affidavit, Garnishment, Judgment File, Judgment, No Fault Divorce, Parties, Paternity, Pendente Lite, Plaintiff, Pro Se, Pro Se Divorce, Restraining Order, Return Date, Service, Visitation, Caseflow Coordinator, Court Clerk, Court Interpreter, Court Monitor, Family Relations Counselor, Judge, Law Librarian

Alimony : Alimony is money a court requires one spouse to pay the other spouse for support before and/or after the divorce is granted. If you do not ask for alimony at the final hearing, you can never get it in the future.

Annulment: An Annulment court order declaring that the marriage is invalid.

Arrearages: Arrearages are money for court ordered alimony and/or child support which is overdue and unpaid.

Automatic Court Orders: Automatic Court Orders are the Court orders that take effect when the divorce process begins.

Broken Down Irretrievably: Broken Down Irretievably is the most common reason for granting a divorce. It means there is no hope of the husband and wife reconciling.

Child Support : Child Support is money paid by a parent to help meet the financial needs of a child.

Complaint: A Complaint is the legal paper that starts your case and tells the court what you want.

Custody: Custody is a court order deciding where a child will live and how decisions about the child will be made. Parents may ask for any custody arrangement that they believe is in the best interest of their child.

Defendant: The Defendant is the person who is served with divorce papers.

Dissolution: Dissolution is the legal end of a marriage, also called a divorce.

Docket Number: The Docket Number is a unique number the court clerk assigns to a case. It must be used on all future papers filed in the court case.

Filing: Giving the court clerk your legal papers is called a filing.

Financial Affidavit: A financial affidavit is a sworn statement of income, expenses, property (called assets) and debts (called liabilities).

Garnishment: A Garnishment is a court order to deduct child support or alimony payments from someone’s income.

Judgment File: A judgment file is a permanent court record of the court’s final decision.

Judgment: A judgment is a court order describing the conditions under which two married people will live separately.

No Fault Divorce: The most common kind of divorce, where no one needs to prove that the husband or wife caused the marriage to end is called a no fault divorce.

Parties: The people who are named as plaintiff and defendant on legal papers are the parties.

Paternity: Paternity is legal fatherhood.

Pendente Lite: Pendente Lite is a court order made before a divorce is granted.

Plaintiff : The person who starts the divorce is the Plaintiff.

Pro Se: Pro Se means for yourself.

Pro Se Divorce: A do it yourself divorce is a pro se divorce.

Restraining Order: A restraining order is a court order to protect someone from physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse.

Return Date: The return date is when the divorce action starts in court and when the 90 day waiting period for a divorce begins. Also, the defendant should file an appearance on or before the second day after the Return Date. Nothing happens in court on the Return Date and no one needs to go to court on the Return Date. The Return Date is always a Tuesday.

Service: The legal method for giving your spouse a copy of the court papers being filed, or notice that court action is being taken or has been taken is called service.

Visitation: Visitation is a court order deciding the amount of time a noncustodial parent may spend with his or her child; also called parenting time, or access.