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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore County Family Lawyer Discusses Family Law Terms to Know and Understand

Written by Amar Weisman » May 26, 2016 »

Family law has its own special language. If going to law school before beginning your case is impractical, you can learn the terms below; if you master the language of family law, you will be able to explain yourself to your attorney, the mediator and even the judge.

The following list is not exhaustive; it is just a modest beginning. Should you require further explanation, please contact us.

Be Sure You Understand the Following Terms:

Adultery - sex between a married man and a woman who is not his wife' or between a married woman and a man who is not her husband; technically a crime in Maryland.

Alimony - Spousal support (not child support) paid by one spoiled in good funds to the other, which is taxable to the recipient and tax deductible for the payor.

Appeal - An appeal is a legal proceeding in which the losing individual asks a higher court to review the lower court’s determination.

Absolute Divorce - Ends marriage, remarriage possible; all property ties severed.

Dissolution - absolute Divorce.

Child Support - Payment from one parent to the other.

Complaint - the document used by one spouse to officially ask for a divorce, which starts the divorce process when filed with the clerk.

Complainant - The Plaintiff.

Best Interest of the Child - Standard applied by the Magistrate and/or judge to decide child custody, Visitation, and Child Support.

Custody (Legal and Physical) - Legal custody is an arrangement whereby a parent is given the right to make decisions regarding the child or children at issue. Physical custody refers to the place where the child or children regularly lives.

Equitable Distribution - This term refers to the way in which marital property is divided between spouses.

Marital Property - All property acquired during the marriage however titled.

Non-Marital Property - Property that is not marital property because it was acquired before the date of marriage in its entirety, acquired by one spouse through inheritance, received by one spouse (not both) as a gift, or excluded because both spouses have prepared a valid agreement (i.e., premarital agreement).

Grounds for Divorce - Reasons that allow a Maryland resident to get a divorce provided the reason is properly prove. For example, adultery and insanity.

Hearsay - This is evidence that is not based on the witness’ own knowledge, but instead, on what was told to them by someone else.

Marital Home - where the couple resided and held themselves out as husband and wife.

Jurisdiction - Jurisdiction refers to the court’s authority to hear/handle the case.

Marital Award: Payment from the spouse with more money in his/her name to the spouse will less money in his/her name.

Prenuptial Agreement - Often referred to as a “prenup,” these agreements are essentially contracts that are signed by soon-to-be spouses prior to marriage. Prenups generally set forth each party’s rights to assets and property, should a divorce occur.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.