Divorce 101

Glossary of Divorce-related Terms

During your divorce, you will hear many terms and sayings. What follows is a glossary of those terms:

Legal Custody — In Kansas there are two types of legal custody: 1) sole legal custody and 2) joint legal custody. These distinctions refer only to decision making power. They have nothing to do with where the children live. If you and your spouse have joint legal custody, it means that you are equal in making decisions with respect to your children. Such decisions include education, religion, and non-emergency medical care. If one parent has sole legal custody, it means that only that parent gets to make those decisions.

Parenting Plan — Parents are required to have a parenting plan as part of the final divorce. The parenting plan specifically lays out where the children reside and what time they spend with the non-residential parent. Parenting plans can be as varied as the parents involved. There are guidelines that are set up but parents can agree to a plan that works best for their family.

Shared Residency — Shared residency is when the parents spend approximately the same amount of time with the children. Parenting time is almost equally split.

Discovery — Discovery is the process in which you acquire information from the other side. Discovery can be written (i.e. Request for Production of Documents and Interrogatories) or in the form of a deposition.

Property Settlement Agreement — A property settlement agreement is a contract between you and your spouse that divides your assets and debts, provides for the care of your children, and is the final agreement of the parties.

Decree of Divorce — The decree of divorce is the final pleading filed in your divorce that ends the marital relationship.

Guardian ad Litem — In some instances, the court appoints an attorney to represent your child’s interests. This person is called a guardian ad litem and his/her role is to independently investigate the facts of the case, speak with the parties, speak with the child, and then advocate for a position based upon his/her investigation.

Home Study — A home study is an evaluation done by an independent neutral third party for the purpose of making a recommendation where the children should reside. A home study is an in depth process and will take several months.

Mediation — Mediation is a process where the parties sit with an independent third party and try to work out a parenting plan that is appropriate given the family’s individual needs and schedules.

Experienced Kansas Divorce Attorneys

We are Vinton | Moore Attorneys at Law, LLC and we provide legal services to clients facing divorce in the Lenexa area. Many people are unfamiliar with the legal steps involved in a divorce. We help clients understand how the law applies to their situation, equipping them to make the best decisions for themselves and their children.

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The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Nothing in this website establishes an attorney-client relationship between Valerie L. Moore or Amy Vinton and the viewer.