AFFIDAVIT – Information provided under oath. Often times pertaining to current finances, debts and assets.
BAILIFF – The judge’s assistant who helps with the court docket and often oversees the decorum in the courtroom.
CONTEMPT – An action requesting the court to punish a person for violating a prior Court order.
CONTINUANCE – A delay or postponement of a scheduled court appearance.
CPO – A “civil protection order”. An order which can be issued by the court in a domestic violence proceeding requiring a person to vacate a home and cease all contact/communication.
DEPOSITION – A form of discovery where opposing counsel gets to ask questions orally to a party or witness under oath in the presence of a court reporter before trial.
DISCOVERY – The early phase of a case where each side requests information relevant to the issues at hand. This phase may include depositions, interrogatories, production of document requests, and requests for admissions.
DV – Short for a “Domestic Violence” action.
GAL – Short for “Guardian Ad Litem”. Typically, an advocate/attorney for a child. Please click here for links to several articles on GAL’s on this blog.
GUIDELINES – Short for “child support guidelines.” Calculations made based on a statutory formula with many variables, which presents a starting point for child support determinations.
IN CAMERA – A private interview between the Judge/Magistrate and typically a child without the parents or lawyers in the room.
INTERROGATORIES – Part of the discovery phase where written questions are submitted to the opposing party for response.
MAGISTRATE – A lawyer appointed by the Judge to hear cases and make recommendations of the findings of the facts and the outcome. Virtually, the same power as the judge.
PRO SE – A party who is not represented by a lawyer is acting Pro Se.
QDRO – Short for a “Qualified Domestic Relations Order”. This is a specially drafted Court order with many technical nuances dividing a person’s retirement account.
RESTRAINING ORDER – An optional order that is typically issued at the start of a divorce proceeding to maintain the current status, avoid harassment, prohibit disposal of assets and to prohibit retaliation for the filing of the action.
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Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.