An adoption in which the adopting parents and birth parents are in contact before the birth and agree on some level of contact after the child is born. Contact may range from sending the birth parent(s) a photograph of the child once a year to including the birth parent(s) in family events.
family & personal matters
A debtor's property that can be taken by the trustee and sold for the benefit of the creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, or can be seized by creditors if they win a judgment against the debtor. Compare: exempt property
Debts that cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy, such as alimony, child support, and most income tax debts. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will still owe these debts when your case is over. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have to pay your nondischargeable debts in full during your plan or continue to owe the remainder. Compare: dischargeable debts
A parent who does not have sole custody or primary custody of a child following divorce. Compare: custodial parent
Any divorce in which the spouse who wants to end the marriage is not required to accuse the other of wrongdoing, but can simply state that the couple no longer gets along. Every state now has no-fault divorce. In the past, a party seeking a divorce had to prove that the other spouse was at fault for the marriage not working. No-fault divorces are usually granted for reasons such as incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or irretrievable or irremediable breakdown of the marriage. Compare: fault divorce
1) A type of divorce, now available in all states, in which neither party must prove that the other party is at fault in order to obtian a divorce. 2) A type of automobile insurance required of car owners by law in 19 states and the District of Columbia, in which the persons injured in an accident are paid only basic damages, limited to certain categories of actual harm, by the company that insured the vehicle in which they were riding or by which they were hit. 3) Popular shorthand for a no-fault insurance statute.
A civil action as between spouses, or against a third party for their interference in the marital relationship. As with most torts, these actions may be based on a party's intentional or negligent behavior. In most jurisdictions marital privileges and immunities are suspended for the purpose of the proceedings.
An agreement between divorcing parties that allows them to set the terms of their divorce. They may settle issues such as spousal support, child custody and visitation. It works the same way as a marital settlement agreement (see hyperlink below).
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.
Conduct that is alleged to have caused the erosion of the marriage. In some states the spouse found guilty of martial misconduct will be adversely effected during property division, distribution of spousal support, or awarding attorney's fees. In states where misconduct is a factor, the following may be considered as behavior constituting marital misconduct: