Starting the Divorce Process? Know the Following Terms

Posted on: 4 March 2021

Do you have a divorce that is about to start? If so, the proceeding can be quite confusing when you do not know all of the terms being used. Here are several terms that you should understand before starting the divorce process.


When you are told that you have a hearing that is upcoming, know that this is the formal way of saying a court date. Your lawyer may say that you have a divorce hearing on a specific date, which means the day that you'll go in front of a judge for a specific issue


A motion is made anytime your lawyer makes a formal written request to a judge to make a decision about a matter at hand in your divorce. These are typically issues that will come up before the trial starts, and you'll be given a hearing date to speak to a judge. For example, there may be a motion to request temporary alimony until the trial is finished and official alimony is granted.

Petition and Answer

A petition in court is quite different from the one you may have heard of in the past since those are typically documents that you sign that state you are in favor of a certain action. A petition in court is a formal complaint being brought against another party. If you are filing the divorce paperwork, you will be the petitioner in your divorce that is filing the complaint against your spouse. You will essentially act as the plaintiff in the divorce case because of this since one person has to file the initial petition and it cannot be done jointly. The person that the petition is against will need to formulate an answer, which is them formally agreeing with or denying the allegations in the petition. 


Divorce cases do not always go to trial right away, since they are more often than not settled in mediation. This is a setting where you have full control of the outcome and can negotiate with your spouse on key issues that will come up with the divorce. Mediation is run by a neutral third party to ensure that things are fair and balanced between both spouses. If you cannot come to a formal agreement on any specific issue during mediation, that issue can be settled in a divorce trial. 

Reach out to a divorce lawyer if you have more questions about parts of the divorce process. 


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