PALIMONY - support paid from one person to another even though they were never married.
PARALEGAL - a trained person who assists a lawyer.
PARENS PATRIAE - a doctrine whereby the state takes jurisdiction over a minor living within its border. It is the basis for deciding what state will assume jurisdiction in a child custody case.
PARENTING CLASSES - organized classes designed to teach parents how to minimize the negative aspects of divorce on their children.
PARTY - a plaintiff or a defendant in a legal proceeding.
PATERNITY - the legal biological relationship between father and child.
PERJURY - the act of lying under oath in court.
PERSONAL JURISDICTION - the power of the court to make orders regarding an individual and have them enforced.
PERSONAL PROPERTY - property that is not real estate.
PETITION - the title given to the first document filed in pursuit of a divorce.
PETITIONER - the person who initiates the divorce by filing the petition.
PHYSICAL CUSTODY - it is in reference to the parent with whom the child resides. Depending upon arrangements, it may be joint or sole custody.
PLAINTIFF - the individual who files the divorce petition, thereby initiating the divorce.
PLEADING - a formal written application to the court which requests action by the court.
POSTNUPTIAL - a written contract between husband and wife that states all of their present and future rights in view of their impending divorce.
PRAECIPE - an order asking the court to act. It is addressed to the clerk of court.
PRAYER - the portion at the end of the pleading which states the relief that is requested of the court.
PRECEDENT - something that has already happened that will influence how future similar events will be viewed by the court.
PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT - a legal contract signed by two people before they get married. It typically involves limitations on a spouse's rights to property, support, and inheritance upon divorce.
PRESENT VALUE - the value of a future payment or series of future payments discounted to the current date or to time period zero.
PRIMARY CARETAKER - the parent who provides majority of the child's day to day care.
PRIVILEGE - the right a spouse has to make admissions to an attorney or counselor that can not be later used as evidence.
PRO SE DIVORCE - a divorce in which each spouse represents themselves in court without an attorney.
PROTHONOTHARY - the court clerk in charge of civil filings.
PURPOSE OF AN APPRAISAL - the states scope of an appraisal assignment, i.e., to estimate a defined value of any real property interest, or to conduct an evaluation study pertaining to real property decisions.
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