family law

marital settlement agreement

Allows divorcing spouses to agree to the terms of their divorce.  The agreement generally can cover property division, spousal (maintenance) support, child custody and visitation arrangements, and any other issues relevant to the divorcing couple.  However, the parties may not agree on child support.  Child support is the right of the child and is regulated by the state.

If the court decides that the agreement is fair to all concerned parties, the agreement may be signed into an order of the court as a final judgment of divorce.

 

marital property

Marital property is property acquired after the parties are married.  Property acquired before the marriage is considered the individual and separate property of the acquiring spouse and the court will have no authority to distribute individual property when the marriage is dissovled. 

 

alimony

When a marriage ends in divorce, one spouse may receive monetary support from the other.  Oftentimes, the receiving spouse must be unable to support themselves without the help of their ex-spouse.  Depending on the state, support may be based on a series of factors, such as the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, degrees earned (if any) etc.  Payments may be in one lumps sum, or in a series of monthly payments.  Duration of alimony is often based on the length of the marriage; in other words, the longer the marriage, the longer the duration of alimony payment

 

Access

Definition

1) In terms of copyright, access refers to the ability of a potential infringer to see or obtain the copyrighted material. Access is important in determining whether a potential infringer has in fact illicitly copied the copyrighted material. If the potential infringer has had no access to the copyrighted material, he can make a strong argument that he could not have copied the copyrighted material, and that any similarities between the allegedly infringing work and the copyrighted work are mere coincidences.

 

Abuse

Definition

1) Abuse, generally: physically, sexually, or mentally injuring a person.

2) Child abuse: physically, sexually, or mentally injuring a child either with intent or through neglect.

3) Substance abuse: excessively using or misusing a legal or illegal substance.

4) In bankruptcy: filing under chapter 7 by a debtor whose monthly, disposable income exceeds $10,950 or 25% of his or her non-priority unsecured debt (if at least $6,575) for a five-year period is presumptively abusive, requiring dismissal or conversion to chapter 13.

 

Abandon

Definition

1) Divorce: abandonment is grounds for divorce in most states.  Grounds arise when one spouse physically leaves the other with no intent on returning.  Usually, the minimum time allowed to claim abandonment is one year, but it changes from state to state.  Some states also recognize constructive abandonment where one spouse refuses to financially support the other and/or engage in sexual intercourse without good reason.

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