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Common terms and phrases related to divorce

For the many Pennsylvania residents undergoing or about to undergo divorce, there are often many uncertainties to face. People may feel uncertain about the future and how the divorce process might play out. Others may feel unsure of what will happen to their property or who will get primary custody of a child. Similarly, there may be many uncertainties surrounding the various terminology that commonly appears in divorce cases. By familiarizing oneself with the basic terminology, it can help one have a better sense of how divorce works.

Of course, there are the basic components of divorce that most are aware of -- that is, property division, alimony, child support and child custody. However, within each of these components, there are terms that many may be unaware of. For instance, many may be aware that there is an amount of money owed in child or spousal support. Many may not be aware that this amount of money is known as arrearage.

Other common terms that may come up in divorce cases include "alternate dispute resolution," which are basically alternate methods of resolving legal disputes in divorce without having to go to court. When a divorce is finalized, the court's final decision is known as the decree. In child custody dispute, the parent who is granted the everyday responsibilities of raising the child has what is known as physical custody, while the other parent is known as the non-custodial parent.

These are just a few of the many terminology found in divorce cases. Understandably, the amount of legal complexities inherent in divorce cases can prove overwhelming. Thankfully, there are attorneys available who can guide divorcing spouses through every step of the divorce process.

Source: Find Law, "Divorce glossary," accessed on April 12, 2016

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