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Helpful Terms From a Tampa Divorce Attorney

word. If you find yourself going through a divorce, there are many unknowns, including some terms used in the process. Going through a divorce is not easy, but knowing the terminology from a Tampa divorce attorney can help a little as you go through this life changing event.

Custody: Custody is a word used in relation to child custody, meaning the spouse or spouses who are responsible for the children. Today it is quite common for the courts to award joint custody, or custody to both parents. This offers both parents equal contribution into their children’s upbringing. It might also mean that children will spend equal time with both parents. Custody can also pertain to the property included in the divorce. For example, if the husband moves out of the family home, but leaves his prized wine collection there, it is in custody of the wife. It is not her property, though, and the judge will decide its outcome.

Equitable distribution: Many areas follow the equitable distribution principle. This states that any property or debts held by the couple will be fairly divided. Fairly is not the same as equally. Factors such as the marriage length and earnings of both parties will be taken into consideration.

Petition for divorce: The document asking the court for a divorce. In some areas, it is also called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  It is what essentially starts the formal divorce process.

Spousal support: You may hear this referred to as spousal support, separate maintenance payments, or alimony. This is a payment that the court may order one spouse to pay to the other based on criteria determined by the law.

Temporary order: This order is filed by court officials and is not permanent. It takes precedence until a final order is agreed upon. One type of temporary order that may incur in a divorce is a temporary custody order. This states which parent has custodial responsibility for the children until a final custody order is filed.

A divorce is difficult enough, but not knowing the terminology used can make it tougher. Knowing some of the common terms can help you make better decisions during this time in your life. If you need to talk with someone about your situation, don’t hesitate to contact us.