family law

Sole custody

Sole custody is an arrangement where - after the separation or divorce of a minor child’s parents - only one parent has physical custody and/or legal custody. Physical custody determines who lives with and cares for the child. Legal custody...

spousal support

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryMonetary support paid by one former spouse to another, usually for a specified period of time, pursuant to a divorce agreement or court order. In many states, it's called alimony.

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stepparent

A stepparent, including stepfather and stepmother, is a person who marries one’s own parent after the death or divorce of the other parent and therefore has no biological relationship to the child. Stepparents are not legal parents of the...

stepparent adoption

Stepparent adoption is the legal, formal adoption of a child by a stepparent who is married to a legal parent of that child. Stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption in the United States, with conditions such as voluntary...

Surety bond

Sometimes, when a party owes others legal duties, the party posts a surety bond to guarantee their performance. The surety bond is like a security deposit, with the party promising to do something as the renter and person they owe obligations to, or...

temporary restraining order (TRO)

Temporary restraining orders (TROs) are a type of short-term injunction issued to prevent a party from taking a certain action until the court is able to issue a more enduring order, such as a preliminary injunction. TROs are a type of...

third-party beneficiary

Definition

A person who is neither a promisor nor promisee in a contractual agreement, but stands to benefit from the contract’s performance. A third-party beneficiary may legally enforce that contract, but only after his or her rights have...

Visitation

The right of a non-custodial parent who is a party to a divorce or separation to visit with their children. In such cases, some courts look to the best interests of the child. Parents have due process rights to determine visitation by nonparents. In...

visitation rights

Visitation rights are limitations or restrictions on child custody. When a couple divorces, they may either have shared custody, joint custody, split custody, or one parent can have sole custody. When sole custody is granted by the court to...

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