Search For Anything: 


Custody means to be in charge or have control of someone or something. During a divorce, custody usually refers to who is in charge of the children – or child custody. Parents can split custody time with joint custody, or one parent can have sole custody.


Prenuptial means happening or existing before marriage.


modification is a adjustment or alteration to an agreement. 

Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment defines the rights and protections of citizens of the United States. The Equal Protection Clause within the Fourteenth Amendment states that there can’t be discrimination against citizens by the law.


stipulation is a requirement that is a part of an agreement.

Child Support

Child support is the money used in support of a child. This is an amount of money that is ordered, by the court, to be paid monthly by one or both parents towards the support of their child(ren) and their living expenses.


The spouse against whom a divorce petition is filed is called the Respondent because he or she will need to respond to the petition. There is no inherent disadvantage to being the Respondent.


The spouse who is requesting a divorce by filing a divorce petition with the court is called the Petitioner. The Petitioner has no inherent advantage over his or her spouse by virtue of being first to file.

Irreconcilable Differences

In a “no-fault” divorce, it simply means that you and your spouse have fundamental differences that make staying married impossible.

No-fault divorce

no-fault divorce is one in which, to ask for a divorce, one spouse does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse will ever have to prove wrongdoing to be granted a divorce.


Also known as time-share, visitation refers to how the parents will share time with the children. The non-custodial parent (the parent who has the children less than half the time) has visitation with the children.

Physical Custody

There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody describes which parent a child lives with. Parents can share joint custody, or one parent can have sole custody. Joint physical custody does not require that a child live precisely half of the time with each parent. When one parent has the child in his/her custodial care more than half the time, that parent is often considered the primary custodial parent.

Legal Custody

There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody assigns who will make important decisions for your children regarding health, welfare and education, specifically: schooling and child care, religion, mental health care, physical health care (outside of emergency care) and dentistry, extracurricular activities and travel. Legal custody can be joint, meaning you both share this decision-making responsibility. It can also be sole, meaning one parent, solely, maintains this decision-making right and responsibility.

Parenting Plan

Also known as a custody and visitation agreement or time-share plan, these are written agreements between parents that outline the amount of time a child will spend with each parent, and how each parent will make decisions affecting the child’s welfare and education.

Liquidation amount

Past due spousal or partner support (arrears) may be ordered to be paid off by increasing a support payment or wage assignmentuntil the overdue amount is paid down. This increase is often called a liquidation amount. Interest will continue to be added to any outstanding balance, even as the arrears is paid down through installments.

Long-term marriage or partnership

Typically, a marriage or domestic partnership is considered long-term when it lasts 10 or more years before separation.

Spousal support / alimony / partner support

Spousal support, sometimes called alimony, is a court ordered amount of money paid by one spouse to support the other spouse during a legal separation or after a divorce. For domestic partnerships, it is called partner support. A spousal or partner support order must be issued as part of one of two types of court cases: divorce, legal separation or annulment; or a domestic violence restraining order. A temporary spousal (partner) support order can be paid while you’re waiting for final judgment in your case, or permanent spousal or partner support can be ordered as part of the final divorce or separation judgment.

Wage assignment (garnishment)

Not every divorce involving children will require a child support order from the court. But once one is made, in every case, the court will order that a wage assignment (garnishment) be issued. The wage assignment tells an employer how much money to deduct directly from the wages of the parent paying support. It instructs the employer to send the money to the State Disbursement Unit, which will then forward the money to the receiving parent.

Mixed Separate and Community Property – Commingling

Mixed Community and Separate Property  Commingling is property that is part separate and part community. It’s called commingling because the two types of property are mixed together.

Separate Property

Separate property is anything that you and/or your spouse or partner owned or earned before you were married or registered your domestic partnership. Profits or other money earned from separate property remains separate property, like from a rental property, perhaps. Property you buy with separate property remains separate property. For example: let’s say you inherited some money, and you used that money to buy a new car during your marriage. That car is separate property, meaning it is not subject to division in divorce. Inheritances and gifts to one spouse or partner, even if they were acquired during the marriage or partnership, are separate property. The same distinction is made for anything acquired or earned after the date of separation.

Quasi-community Property

Quasi-community property is property acquired or money earned by you and/or your spouse or partner when living in a different state. In California, such property would be considered community property. Therefore, California treats quasi-community property the same as community property, when you divorce or legally separate in California.

Community Property

Community property is everything that you and your spouse or partner own together or bought/acquired during your marriage or domestic partnership that is not a gift or inheritance. This includes debt. Also, money that you and/or your spouse earned during your marriage or partnership is considered community property. Therefore, anything you bought with the money earned during your marriage or partnership is community property, regardless of who’s name the property is in or whose bank account the money came from. Debt too. Even if only one of you incurred the debt, or only one name is on a credit card carrying a balance, if the debt was accumulated during the marriage or domestic partnership, you are both responsible for it. California law states that each partner owns one-half of the community property, and each of you is usually responsible for one-half of the community debt.


Debt is (usually) money you owe: mortgage loan, car loan, credit card debt, etc.


Property is anything that belongs to you and/or your spouse that can be bought or sold: house, car, boat, furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. Property is also anything that has value, like cash and banking accounts, security deposits on rentals, cash value in life insurance, a business, a patent, and more. Assets such as retirement plans, pensions, stocks, and the like, are also property.