If you are about to begin the process of a divorce, you are going to be dealing with a lot of legal jargon that you are likely not going to be familiar with. In this post, we are going to give you a brief overview of the most common terms you will hear your attorney and others in the court use throughout your case. Continue reading below to learn what they are.


Also known as alternative dispute resolution, this is an umbrella term that describes mediation and arbitration. Most commonly these approaches are used in order to help resolve issues or cases without having to go to trial.


This is the support fees that are paid by one spouse to another. In Colorado, this is known as “spousal maintenance” in Colorado.

Child Support

This is the financial support that one parent provides for a child’s basic need. These are things like food, shelter, education, and healthcare.

Court Order

This is a written document that has been issued by the court that becomes effective when a judge has signed it. This document almost always requires that one or both parties do or stop doing certain things, like paying support for example.


This is the legal right and responsibility for someone to care for and raise a child. There are two different types of custody in the legal realm. These are “physical” custody, which governs where a child lives and then there is “legal” custody which concerns making decisions about the life of the child. These are often things like a child’s religious upbringing, schooling, and medical care.

Default Judgement

This is a court order or judgment that is entered without there hearing both sides of the story. This is often because the unheard side did not meet a certain obligation (like appearing at the hearing).

Equitable Distribution

This is a system of distributing property that works to leave both spouses that are dissolving the marriage on equal footing once the marriage has legally ended. Most commonly this includes a number of items like health, education, and employment.


These are the legal reasons a judge has for granting a divorce.


This is a court proceeding to resolve the issues that are being disputed. This may involve several processes such as witness testimony, legal arguments, and/or evidence.

Marital Settlement Agreement

This is the agreement between the parties regarding how to divide the marital property. If there are children as a result of the marriage, this can also include issues of support or custody.

No-Fault Divorce

This is a divorce in which both parties do not have to prove misconduct by the other in order for the marriage to be dissolved.

Set Off

This occurs when the spouse’s debt is deducted from the debt of the other spouse.

Temporary Motions

This is a request that the court provide some sort of relief while the divorce case is going on and for a certain and limited amount of time.

Need a Divorce Attorney?

If you are wanting to end your marriage, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Loomis and Greene in Loveland today.

Contact Loomis & Greene Today