marriage

Alienation of Affections

In a minority of states, a spouse may sue a third party for purposefully interfering with the marital relationship. This suit is usually brought against the adulterous spouse's paramour. However, suit may also be brought against an in-law or relative...

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...

Alternative Reproductive Technology (ART)

Also known as assisted reproductive technology, it is an alternative to traditional reproduction, used by persons who are infertile. It is also an umbrella term that encompasses in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, ovum donation, a surrogate...

Annulment

Is a legal procedure that declares a marriage is null from its inception. Unlike divorce, the effect of declaring a marriage void is retroactive, meaning that the marriage was void at the time it was entered into. An annulment is only granted with a...

Antenuptial Agreement

A contract entered into by two people who intend to marry. It includes provisions, such as spousal support and property distribution, in the event of a later divorce.

Asset

An asset is something of value owned by an individual or organization. An asset can be physical property like a building or intangible property such as a patent. Assets are an important part of and differ in many areas of law.

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Augmented Estate

The augmented estate is the value of a decedent’s estate used when the surviving spouse chooses to take an elective share, rather than what was left by will. The Uniform Probate Code calculates the augmented estate as all real and personal...

Bigamy

The illegal act of marrying someone while lawfully married to another. The bigamous marriage is considered void when it was entered into and may be annulled.

breach of promise

Although not actionable in most jurisdictions, it is a breach of a promise to marry another; in other words it is a broken engagement. It is a tort against the breaching party, traditionally the male, by the jilted bride or her family.

Change of Circumstances

A change of circumstances refers to the showing required by a party seeking to modify a prior child support, spousal support, or custody order. Generally, the change in circumstances must be substantial in nature and due to facts that were...

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