5 critical divorce legal terms you need to know Part 1

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The 5 critical divorce terms discussed in this blog are DR Case, Petition & Response, Dissolution & Legal Separation.

These terms and acronyms are crucial when discussing your divorce with an attorney. You don’t know the divorce process that’s why you hire an attorney. Knowing these terms helps understanding some of the details of your divorce, assists with communication and allows you to feel some control over your situation.

The situation: You meet your attorney and in a matter of 30 minutes your lawyer “discussed” the filing of your DR case that may need a CFI or PRE but only after we consider a 127 motion and assess your financials and file interrogatories to best determine the issues before Temp Orders and Mediation….

What?!!! I know! When I first had to learn it, it sounded like a foreign language – hence the term Legalese.

Most lawyers have at least 30 clients to represent at one time, and some just want to sound smart while others the DR Lingo is so second nature that they sometimes forget English of the common person.

These are the terms and acronyms of Divorce Legalese. Read for 6 more terms.

1.  DR CASE. DR stands for Domestic Relations. When you file the paperwork to divorce with the court, your matter is assigned a case number.

The first part of the number is the year 14 or 2014; the second is the type of case: DR Domestic Relations, not to be confused with CR (Criminal) or CV (Civil) or JV (Juvenile).

The final part is Court specific depending how cases are numbered in that District.

2 & 3  PETITION and RESPONSE. The Petition is the name of the document that puts the Court on notice that you want a divorce or legal separation.

The Response is the document filed by the other party to tell the Court “me too” or “no way.”

It is with this filing that you also become named as the PETITIONER or CO-PETITIONER

– if the two of you were wise enough to file the Petition together – or the RESPONDENT.

4 & 5  DISSOLUTION & LEGAL SEPARATION. When you file for divorce, Colorado calls the action “Dissolution of Marriage” instead of “Divorce.” Same thing.

Sometimes a person will tell the Court, “hey, I don’t know if I’m ready to divorce, so I want us to be legally separated instead.” A LEGAL SEPARATION has the parties separate their belongings and finances and structure a parenting plan if necessary and then orders the parties legally separated – but not divorced.

At any time after 6 months either party can ask the Court to enter the Divorce Decree instead of the parties remaining legally separated or they can remain legally separated forever.

We have done this a few times with couples who had religious issues with divorce or otherwise had reason to maintain health insurance benefits by still remaining as dependents legally during a separation.

Understanding what those working for you are discussing is significant. If you don’t understand something that is said to you or seems so apparent by the one trying to “explain” it to you ask. The purpose of your attorney is to handle your divorce, but it’s your life! Knowing what’s going on with your divorce enables you to make better decisions for you and your family. If you leave everything to someone else, it will hurt you in the end.  Read 6 critical legal terms you need to know Part 2.

It’s your case, your family and your life. Understanding what’s happening is to save your children and restructure your family successfully.

If you have any questions, are unclear about anything, not sure your next course of action call the one person who can help you!  You can contact us by phone at 720-722-0776 or Email Us.