Oregon Resources & Glossary of Legal Terms
A written statement sworn before a notary public or other authorized party.
Compensation, relief or benefit which may be due and granted to a party.
A concurrence between parties that can be either oral or written. In written form, it can be made into an order of the court after being presented to a judge.
See spousal support.
The legal ending of a marriage not considered to be valid by law. (Children of this marriage are considered legitimate, although the marriage was considered invalid.)
A request to a higher court to review a lower court's decision made in a trial.
A court which hears appeals from a lower court. The Appellate Court has the power to review a lower court's decision.
The hearing and determination of a case submitted to an arbitrator (impartial third party) to reach a decision between the parties to a case in dispute.
The attorney-client privilege allows for confidentiality of oral and written communication between a client and the attorney. This protects the client's ability to be honest with the attorney without fearing future disclosure.
There are many types of bankruptcy proceedings, but generally, a bankruptcy proceeding is a legal proceeding in the federal court which allows for restructuring debt or obtaining relief from obligation to pay debt in cases of insolvency or potential insolvency for individuals or businesses. The bankruptcy court takes control and administers the financial affairs of the party. Some debts, generally including alimony and child support are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Expenses paid for the maintenance of a child by one parent, usually to the custodial parent. The amount of the child support is established by statutory guidelines. Child support is not taxable as income to the recipient nor can it be deducted by the payor.
Child Support Guidelines
Statutory rules that are used by the court to ascertain the amount of child support the parent(s) are obligated to pay based upon a number of factors including his/her gross income which includes wages, investment, interest, and dividend income.
A demand or request made of another person for property, money, or enforcement of a right provided by law.
Property and assets regarded as jointly owned by a husband and wife acquired during the term of their marriage. Assets not considered jointly held would be property and profits clearly in one party's possession prior to the marriage, inheritances received and not commingled, and gifts to a specific party. Oregon is not a community property state. Washington is a community property state.
The first pleading filed with the court in a civil case by the plaintiff or petitioner.
Contempt of Court
Contempt of court can occur in multiple scenarios. A direct contempt occurs in the view and presence of the court and disturbs the court proceedings. A constructive contempt is the failure of a party to obey a court order, decree, or judgment.
Disputed issues between the parties. No agreement to the issues involved has been reached.
A written ruling from the court that defines the parties' responsibilities and rights regarding the subject of the order.
The process by which the opposing counsel questions a party's witness to determine the truth of the witness's testimony to previous questions and to elicit out additional evidence. Issues not covered by direct examination ordinarily cannot be covered in the cross examination of a witness.
The order established by the court which grants the care of a child (children) to a primary parent (sole custody) or to both parents (joint legal custody) as a legal right and responsibility. There are different types of custody arrangements. See also Physical Custody and Legal Custody.
Custody Study/Parenting Time Evaluation
An evaluation or study usually done by a psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist who has been appointed by the court or mutually selected by the parties to make recommendations for appropriate custody and parenting time arrangements for children.
A failure to respond in the time required by law to a summons and complaint served on a party. If a legal answer or other response is not filed, the suing party (plaintiff or petitioner) can request a default be entered in the record, which terminates the rights of the defaulting party to defend the case.
A process of asking questions and soliciting responses of a witness or a party, under oath, outside of the courtroom. The deposition usually takes place in a law office where the attorneys, clients, witnesses, and a court reporter are present.
The first examination or questioning of a witness or a party during a trial under oath to elicit testimony and/or evidence.
The process of gathering information and documents pre-trial from the opposing party to uncover information and to "discover" relevant facts.
Dissolution of Marriage or Divorce
The legal process of ending a marriage.
A term used to describe the process of verifying and reviewing information, including the incomes, the assets, and liabilities of the opposing party to confirm their accuracy.
Generally refers to an appearance before a judge by one party for a motion, hearing, order or other purpose without giving the other party the opportunity to be heard. Notice must be given to the other side before an ex parte appearance.
An individual called to testify at a trial that is specially trained or has technical expertise in a particular field of knowledge who can offer an "expert" opinion regarding a particular subject. This witness is allowed to offer their opinion on the meaning of facts.
Acronym for "Family Abuse Prevention Act." This act enables a person, if they meet one of the four statutory criteria, to file a restraining order against their spouse, someone they have co-habited with, or are related to by blood or marriage.
A document outlining the terms of the contract between the client and attorney and the expenses associated with attorney's representation of the client.
The cost associated with having legal documents filed at a courthouse.
Financial Restraining Order
An order of the court which prohibits the selling, disposing, secreting, etc. of marital assets by either party or acquiring additional marital debt while the case is pending.
A written compilation of assets and liabilities at a particular point in time for either an individual or a business.
A statute driven process which allows for the collection of an amount of wages or property of one party to fulfill a specific debt obligation to another party administered by a third party (generally the debtor's employer or banking institution).
A court proceeding before a judge, without a jury, usually addressing specific issues, held prior to a final trial. Testimony including that of witnesses and written exhibits may be presented by both parties to the case.
A court order issued to forbid someone from doing an act or ordering them to do something after a hearing.
Written questions asked by one party of the other party. Answers are to be in writing and under oath.
Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage
The final court order terminating a marriage.
Court awarded legal rights and responsibility to care for a child.
A court order which allows a married couple or a couple to remain married but with separate property and other rights and obligations.
A legal document filed in the county where certain real property is located. It is to give notice that the title to the property is in litigation.
All property acquired throughout the course of the marriage regardless of how title is held. Assets may include motor vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, cash, pensions, insurance, profit sharing plans, and other property. Certain other assets, such as gifts or inheritances, may receive different treatment.
The process of reaching a settlement agreement facilitated by a neutral third party as a "mediator." The mediator has no responsibility for the enforcement of the settlement agreement.
A written document or brief, outline, or summary of legal position and findings which is presented to the court.
An alteration to an existing court order or judgment due to a change in circumstances since the order or judgment was originally entered. For example, modifications to parenting time, child custody or child support can be made after the original agreement was made.
A formal request to the court to do something.
No Fault Divorce
Divorce in Oregon and Washington based on neither party having to find "fault" or misconduct with the other in order to file for divorce. Grounds for divorce may be based on irreconcilable differences.
A document that is normally filed with the Judgment of Dissolution when children are involved stating the schedule for the children with each parent, how decisions will be made, and how parenting responsibilities will be shared. The plan addresses how the children will spend the shared time to include days, weeks, vacations, birthdays, holidays, and other times important to the family.
Previously called "visitation," this is a schedule approved for the children to spend time with both parents.
Latin term meaning pending the suit or awaiting the litigation. Usually applies to court orders which are in effect prior to the final divorce. Temporary orders usually deal with support, who lives in the home, and children's issues.
The initial legal document filed with the court asking for dissolution of marriage (divorce), legal separation, or to establish custody and parenting time.
The individual who is suing for divorce or bringing before the court another domestic relations matter.
Designates with whom the children will live.
A written contract entered into between two people after they have been married, laying out terms of the marriage in case it should later dissolve. Terms regarding current individual assets, future earnings, and property are examples of issues included in the contract.
A written contract between two people prior to marriage, laying out the terms of the marriage in case it should later dissolve. Terms regarding current individual assets, future earnings, and property are examples of issues included in the contract. Also referred to as a premarital agreement.
A party to a lawsuit who provides their own legal representation. The individual is appearing "pro se."
A "pro tem" judge may be an experienced attorney who is approval from a court district to hear and decide a variety of cases at the circuit court level outside of the regular process for judicial elections or appointments. From the Latin term "pro tempore" meaning "temporarily" or "for" (instead of).
Pre-Trial Status Conference
Either a telephone or personal meeting between the attorneys and the judge prior to trial to determine the status of the case and any possibility for settlement.
A person who delivers (serves) legal papers in lawsuits and is not a party to the suit.
The division of real and personal property of the parties which is achieved through a dissolution of marriage or a legal separation. If the parties disagree on how the property is to be separated between them, the court may need to order the separation.
Monetary values established for real and/or personal property.
The person being sued in a divorce or other domestic relations matter.
Where a parent's contact with a child is not allowed except in the presence of another person, often a trained professional.
A court order prohibiting certain activities by a party or parties to a lawsuit. (Temporary) restraining orders are designed to protect marital property, protect against physical violence, and other specific activities.
A fee paid in advance to employ an attorney to "retain" their services. This money is usually placed in the client's trust account. See also Trust Account.
An agreement setting out the terms of the separation of a married couple. The agreement may contain all the same aspects of a divorce judgment, but the marriage is not terminated and the parties may not marry.
The receiving of delivered legal documents.
Ending of a lawsuit by agreement between the parties without going forward through a court hearing or trial.
The written form of the settlement. In order to be legally binding, it must be converted to an order or judgment and signed by a judge.
A judge's order for one party to appear at court and show cause why a particular order should not be complied with. For example, a show cause hearing might be held to determine why a parent has not paid ordered child support.
Payment from one spouse to another spouse during the pendency of an action or after a divorce. There are three types of final support available:
Compensatory Support is an amount of support determined by the judge that compensates one spouse for having enabled the other spouse to pursue educational opportunities, a career, or ability to earn income.
Spousal Maintenance is determined by a judge who reviews the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage and then finds an adequate support based upon that review.
Transitional Support is for an unemployed spouse who will need funds for education or re-training to re-enter the work force. The judge will consider the costs for such assistance and make a determination.
Laws enacted by the state. In Oregon, they are referred to as Oregon Revised Statutes.
Status Quo Order
A court order to maintain and continue the current state of affairs.
An agreement made by the parties, usually in writing and filed with the court.
A court order which must be hand delivered to a witness instructing them to appear at a particular place and time to provide testimony. A subpoena duces tecum requires the witness to produce documents.
A notification issued by the court to a respondent advising them of a lawsuit, the parties involved, title of the suit, and the court in which the action is filed.
Supervised Parenting Time
Where a trained professional will facilitate and monitor parenting visits or exchanges.
Temporary Order of Protection (TPOR)
An order signed by the court which may limit one parent's removal of the child from the state and will preserve the status quo for the children in regard to their daily activities. This is also known as a "status quo order".
Statements given either during a court hearing or in deposition by a party or witness under oath.
The process of the examination of evidence and testimony in a court, presided over by a judge who makes a determination according to the law.
An escrow bank account established by the client's attorney in which monies paid by the client are deposited. Funds from the trust account may be used for payment of attorney fees and costs for representing the client. Settlement funds may also be placed in the client's trust account.
Uniform Support Declaration (USD)
A document showing information regarding the income and expenses of a party. In Oregon, if child or spousal support is requested, it must be filed.
A court order may rescind or revoke an earlier order.
This is a popular term for Parenting Plan.
See Custody Study.