Important Terms

Important Terms

Dictionary of Divorce Terms

The New Jersey divorce process is full of legal jargon which at times can be confusing. We understand that many of our clients want to fully understand terminology. To help you on your journey, we have filled this website with information to help you navigate the many facets of that process. Included below are a list of terms commonly used in divorce and family law. Should you happen to need a clearer explanation of how anything relates to your case, we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Also called Spousal Support is the amount paid from one spouse to another after a divorce is finalized. It is a legal obligation which, if granted, is part of a divorce agreement.

Case Information Statement
A document required by the court explaining the financial particulars of a couple’s life together (marriage or civil union). Requiring exact lifestyle data, the form should be filled out with exact numbers. This document needs to be meticulously prepared as it can have a substantial impact on any divorce proceedings.

Child Support
Court ordered financial payments from one parent to the other to support a minor child (or children). It is a legal obligation.

Complaint for Divorce
A complaint is a legal document that initiates a lawsuit within the divisions of the New Jersey Superior Court. It informs the court that one party would like to sue the other. This document states reasons for the suit, and informs the party why they are being sued.

State of New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P)
Formerly DYFS. The agency within the Department of Children and Families charged with “ensuring the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and to support families.” DCP&P investigates reports of child abuse and neglect. A very useful handbook for information can be found here. Please view their handbook here.

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
A complex formula filled with factors used to determine how much child support will be paid and to whom. A comprehensive list of expenses related to the basic care of a particular child are considered as well as educational, medial, and extracurricular activity costs. To read the official documentation from the State of New Jersey Court system, please click here.

While an old-fashion type term it is commonly used in legal documents to refer to a girlfriend or boyfriend of one of the divorcing parties or parents.

Parenting Time
This is another name the Courts use for visitation.

The person who initiates an action in court by filing a complaint.


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