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Words you may hear your attorney say in divorce court – Part 2

Here are more words that you may hear in your divorce or custody case:

Judgment of Divorce: A final court order dissolving the Marriage

Defendant: The responding party to a divorce; the party who did not file the petition initiating the divorce.

Deposition: A witness’s testimony taken out of court, under oath, and in the presence of lawyers and a court reporter. If a person gives a different testimony at the time of trial, he or she can be impeached with the deposition testimony; that is, statements made at a deposition can be used to show untruthfulness if a different answer is given at trial.

Direct examination: The initial questioning of a witness in court by the lawyer who called him or her to the stand.

Discovery: A process used by attorneys to discover information from the opposing party for the purpose of fully assessing a case for settlement or trial. Types of discovery include interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions.

Dissolution: The act of terminating or dissolving a marriage.

Partition of property: The method by which real and personal property and debts are divided in a divorce. Given all economic circumstances of the parties, Louisiana law requires that marital property and debts be divided equally.

Ex parte: Usually in reference to a motion, the term used to describe an appearance of only one party before the judge, without other party being present. For example, an ex parte restraining order may be granted immediately after the filing of a petition for divorce.

Hearing: Any proceeding before the court for the purpose of resolving disputed issues between the parties through presentation of testimony, affidavits, exhibits, or argument.

Hold-harmless clause: A term in a court order that requires one party to assume responsibility for a debt and to protect the other spouse from any loss or expense in connection with it, as in to hold harmless from liability.”

Interrogatories: Written questions sent from one party to the other that are used to obtain facts or opinions related to the divorce.

Joint custody: The shared right and responsibility of both parents awarded by the court for possession, care, and decision-making for children.

Mediation: A process by which a neutral third party facilitates negotiations between the parties on a wide range of issues.

Motion: A written application to the court for relief, such as temporary child support, custody, or restraining orders.

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