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Knowing the Names: Arizona Divorce Terms Defined

Knowing the Names: Arizona Divorce Terms Defined

If you are considering obtaining a divorce in Arizona, you may quickly realize that your mastery of the English language wasn’t as all-inclusive as you once believed. When you begin to consider divorce, talk to others about divorce, or file for divorce, you will need to familiarize yourself with Arizona divorce terms. There are certain words, terms, phrases…used by attorneys that can leave you wondering exactly what is happening if you aren’t familiar with the legal terms associated with divorce.

Arizona Divorce Terminology Defined:

Dissolution of Marriage – This is a legal phrase used to legally describe divorce.

Petition – This is the formal written request that your divorce lawyer will file with the Clerk of the Superior Court that requests a dissolution of marriage and other orders regarding the division of property, legal decision making and parenting time, etc.

Petitioner – The party who files for the dissolution of marriage.

Respondent – The other party involved in the marriage.

Docket Number – The number that is assigned to the case (each case filed is assigned its own docket number).

Joint Preliminary Injunction – The order issued by the court that prohibits both spouses involved in the case from making changes to anything involved in the case, such as the children, money or property.

Creditor Notice – This is a notice regarding debt accumulated during the marriage. Both parties receive notice about debt.

Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance – According to Arizona divorce law, both spouses should receive a formal notice in regards to the existing health insurance coverage/obligations.

Divorce by Default – When the Respondent does not file their response in the allotted time, the court can simply grant the Petition as it was filed. In this instance, the court can simply sign the divorce decree without the respondent’s presence.

Hearing – A scheduled court session with a judge or a commissioner of the court present.

Legal Decision Making – The legal term used in Arizona to refer to what was previously called “child custody.” This refers to the ability to legally make decisions on behalf of the minor child.

Parenting Time – The term used in Arizona to refer to what was previously referred to as visitation rights.

Guardian Ad Litem – In certain situations, where necessary, the court can appoint a representative for the interests of minor children in the case.

Divorce Decree – The final decision of the court regarding the dissolution of marriage case.

A familiarity with the terms commonly used in the documents, hearings and legal consultations related to your divorce will increase your ability to keep up with what’s going on as you progress through the Arizona divorce process. If you have questions regarding an Arizona divorce, please get in touch with Arizona Family Law Attorneys today.
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