Divorce Law Glossary
Alimony – a payment made by one spouse to another pending divorce or separation.
Alimony in gross – alimony payments paid in one lump sum.
Annulment – the legal dissolution of a marriage. In an annulment, the marriage is treated as though it never existed.
Child custody – a term that refers to the custody of children after a divorce.
Child support – a term that refers to payment by one spouse to the other for the upbringing of their children.
Custodial parent – the parent who has physical custody of the children.
Divorce – the legal dissolution of a marriage.
Fixed visitation – a form of visitation in which the court orders fixed dates, times, and duration of visitation for the non-custodial parent.
Joint custody – a form of child custody that grants both parents joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both joint legal custody and joint physical custody.
Legal custody – a form of child custody that grants one parent the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing.
Limited divorce – the termination of cohabitation, also known as a separation.
Lump sum alimony – see “alimony in gross.”
Non-custodial parent – the parent who does not have physical custody of the children.
Paternity – the determination of who the father of a child is in order to arrange child custody and child support in the event of a divorce.
Permanent alimony – a type of alimony that is paid in regular intervals. Permanent alimony may change or be terminated upon the remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony payments.
Physical custody – a form of child custody that grants one parent the right to live with the child.
Reasonable visitation – a form of visitation in which the parents work out a schedule of visitation for the non-custodial parent.
Separation – see “limited divorce.”
Sole custody – a form of child custody that grants one parent the right to legal and physical custody.
Supervised visitation – a form of visitation in which an adult supervisor must be present when the child is visiting with the non-custodial parent.
Temporary alimony – a type of alimony payment that is made to one spouse pending separation or divorce proceedings.