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Divorce Legal Terms Worth Learning Before and During Your Divorce

Morris County NJ Divorce Terminology LawyersFor those going through divorce proceedings in New Jersey, the amount of legal jargon and new terms being thrown around the room can be daunting. Before stepping foot into a courtroom, a mediation, or your lawyer’s office, it can be useful to brush up on your legal terms. Today, our divorce and family law attorneys will be going over some common legal terms you may hear in your divorce and give some interesting history behind the terms (it’s interesting to us anyway).

Morris County, NJ Divorce Terminology Lawyers: It’s All Greek to Me

While there aren’t too many legal terms which are Greek, a large number come from their linguistic ancestor, Latin. Your Morris County divorce terminology lawyers may use any of the following legal terms which have been derived from Latin roots:

Litigation – different interpretations base litigation on litigaremeaning “to dispute, quarrel, go to court” or from the root litem, which essentially means to contest. In modern terms, litigation refers to taking legal action within a court system.

Pendente Lite – this is a term which may be used to describe a temporary agreement before your divorce is finalized. Pendente lite roughly translates to pending litigation or during litigation.

Alimony – the term comes from the Latin word alimoniameaning “nourishment, sustenance”. This refers to alimony’s intended purpose of caring for a former spouse who requires financial assistance.

Custodychild custody is a common dispute within a divorce, and refers to both where a child will live and which parent or parents are entitled to make major decisions in a child’s life. The word custody comes from the Latin root custodiameaning “guarding, watching, keeping”.

Chester Divorce Terms Attorneys Discuss Misunderstood Concepts and Words

Latin is fun (for some of us), but there are also a number of legal terms which will come up in most divorces which may not be common knowledge. Your Chester divorce terms attorneys will likely use many if not of the following legal concepts during the course of your divorce proceedings:

Affidavit – essentially a written, signed statement which is legally similar to sworn testimony. Affidavits are commonly used in divorces for confirmation of financial standing.

Discovery Process – Near the beginning of your divorce proceedings, you may move into what is called the “discovery process” or “discovery phase”. This is a time period where relevant financial and other documentation must be provided and/or requested from another party.

Equitable Distribution – New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of your assets will be divided in an equitable, or fair, manner. Some states are governed by community property statutes, which mean that all eligible assets will be divided 50/50.

Appeals and Modifications – in the divorce process, agreement modifications are common while appeals are relatively rare. Modifications may be granted to agreements based on new evidence or based on a change in circumstance, while formal appeals serve to challenge the initial legal proceedings themselves.

Irreconcilable Differences – one of the most commonly used terms in a divorce is the concept of irreconcilable differences. Essentially, using irreconcilable differences as a grounds for divorce in a no-fault divorce means that you and your spouse are experiencing differences which have led to your marriage deteriorating and these differences are not expected to make up or reconcile.

Contact our Morristown Divorce and Family Law Terminology Attorneys Today

The divorce and family law terminology attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark practice exclusively divorce and family law for our Morris County clients from towns including Chester, Morristown Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morris Township, and across all of Northern New Jersey. All three of our partners have earned the distinction of Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. We take pride in offering affordable and cooperative alternatives to litigation based divorce including mediation. 

Contact us online or through or Morristown offices by calling (973) 840-8970 today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce concerns including child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, and much more.