Top Need to Know Divorce Terminology
In a previous blog, we discussed and defined the top 10 must know divorce words. Anyone who may be contemplating a divorce or custody case should absolutely take the time to become familiar with those important words and phrases in order to fully understand all of the processes involved. Well, we’re back today with another 10 quick words and phrases for you to add to your collection so you’re not caught off guard. Take a look and as always, feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions or need further assistance.
10 Divorce Phrases Defined
- Annulment: With an annulment, a marriage is dissolved by essentially stating it never took place to begin with. There are strict and limiting grounds for annulment in Maryland, meaning it is a rarely used process. These potential avenues include one Party coercing the other to be married, or one Party being married to another spouse at the time of the marriage.
- Common Law Marriage: A common law marriage is one in which the two Parties agree to be married and live together as husband and wife, but have not been formally, legally married. It is important to note that common law marriages are not recognized by the state of Maryland.
- Discovery: The discovery process for divorce in Maryland is a time in which relevant information is able to be obtained from the other Party. Two common varieties of discovery are interrogatories, of which Maryland allows up to thirty, as well as Requests for Production of Documents, of which there is no limit. Parties may also conduct depositions whereby one Party is required to answer questions under oath in the presence of a court reporter.
- Limited Divorce: A limited divorce may occur when Parties do not have grounds for an Absolute Divorce. If the Parties are separated for any period of time, they may generally file for a limited divorce and can seek alimony, child support, and custody. However, the Court cannot divide property in a Limited Divorce proceeding, nor are the Parties legally divorced at the conclusion of such a proceeding. As such, neither Party is able to remarry.
- Martial Property: Marital property refers to certain property acquired by either or both Parties during the course of the marriage. The distribution of marital property is a key issue to be resolved during the divorce process, and there are many factors to consider. Certain property, including property acquired by inheritance, is not marital property.
- Pendente Lite: Pendente lite translates to “pending the litigation,” and as such, it’s a temporary filing. This procedure may be used to obtain temporary relief including child access or visitation, child support, alimony, and attorney’s fees to be put into place between the time of the pendente lite hearing until the Parties’ final trial.
- Prenuptial Agreement: Prenuptial agreements are signed legal agreements put into place before a marriage occurs, often dealing with financial or property issues. Getting a prenup in Maryland may prove to be beneficial for many reasons, and it’s important to note that they must be signed, written agreements. Parties can also enter into a Post-Nuptial Agreement, which is similar to a Prenuptial Agreement, except that it occurs after the Parties’ marriage.
- Subpoena: Subpoenas can compel an individual to appear in court or at a deposition. Subpoenas can also compel individuals and entities to produce certain documents at trial or at deposition.
- Uncontested Divorce: Uncontested divorces occur when the the Parties have no issues left to resolve and neither side is disputing or attempting to stop the divorce proceedings. Often times the Parties have a Separation Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement.
- Visitation: Visitation (or “Access” as it is referred to in Maryland) may be granted to the noncustodial parent for specific amounts of time, generally on a set schedule. In the event of abuse or neglect of a child, the Court may order supervised visitation. There are many factors affecting both child custody and visitation rights in Maryland.