Divorce Dictionary

Unfamiliar with a term? Need to clarify a definition? This comprehensive dictionary of words commonly used during the divorce process can help.
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Magistrate A person who performs the functions of a judge but does not have the power to issue a court order. Judges sometimes pass work, hearings and trials, to magistrates or masters who then in turn make recommendations to the judge as to the particulars of the case.
Maintenance The same as spousal support or alimony.
Marital property Property that is acquired by the spouses during the marriage. It typically does not include any property owned prior to marriage.
Marital settlement agreement A written agreement entered into by the spouses getting divorced stating their rights and agreements pertaining to property, support and custody.
Marketable title A title not subject to reasonable doubt or suspicion of invalidity in the mind of a reasonable and intelligent person: one which a prudent person guided by competent legal advice would be willing to accept and purchase at market value.
Mediation A non - adversarial divorce procedure where the spouses are assisted in reaching a settlement by a neutral third party that is trained in the divorce process.
Mediator A neutral person who presides over the mediation process.
Military allotment A deduction from child support from the salary of a noncustodial parent on active duty in the United States Military.
Minute order An official record of a court proceeding. It is prepared by the court clerk and is not a judgment.
Mistrial A trial that is terminated due to some kind of error that would declare the trial invalid.
Modification An order changing the terms of another order.
Motion A written or oral request to the court for some type of action.
Motion to modify A written request of the court to change a previous order regarding child custody, support, alimony or other divorce - related decisions.