Commonly Used Terms in a Family Law Proceeding – What Do They Mean?

If you are involved in a legal family battle, you might know it well that it falls under the family law. However, family law not only limits to family disputes. Rather it involves a wide scope of legal relationships like divorce, child support, adoption, visitation rights, and many more things. In fact, according to Family lawyer there is nothing such as accepted definition. Instead, it can be accepted as the law which governs the relationship between parents and children, two adults, one parent of a child with his ex-partner and so on.

However, laws related to family law tend to change from time to time. The changes to the laws are taking place due to the notion of marriage, gender, and family is undergoing a sea-change. Hence, understanding the legal matters related to family law can be very difficult.

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Know the Terms

Before heading to the Court for fighting family law, it would be better if one takes a look into different abbreviations and terms, which are mostly used during the proceedings of law. Take a look below:


It mainly relates to child and spousal support which hasn’t been paid. The party who is having arrearages is called “in arrears”.


Family lawyer points that it deals with the right of a non-custodial parent to visit their children and spend some time with them. It can also include the right to ask questions related to child’s health and education.


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Community Property

It relates to everything which the spouse or domestic partner owns together. It mainly relates to everything which the spouse received together during marriage or bought together after marriage.

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Case Conference

Family lawyer points out that it relates to the first substantive attendance for family law proceedings. Parties need to remain present with their lawyers and discuss issues related to dispute. The judge as a mediator can merit the claims of the parties. The judge can also help with settlements and take necessary steps in proceedings.

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Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order

It is an order which is issued by the Court in order to prevent the repetition of acts, such as abuse by the other person/ spouse. It can also include restrain on personal conduct, such as staying away from the victim.

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Family lawyer can bring motion during the course of the proceedings. By this a court is asked to make a temporary or final decision regarding any dispute issues.

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Notion of Motion lays down the orders which the Court wants to make. On the other hand, affidavit can relate to avowed documents which contain all details about the facts that a person needs to maintain. 


Family lawyer points out parties can be divided into applicant and respondent. The former is the one who initiates the family law proceeding. The later one is the party who responds to the family law proceedings.

These are some example of the terms which are mostly used during the family law proceeding. Proper knowledge of the terms can easily help one to deal with family law case easily.

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