Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XIII)

Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XIII)Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XIII) – Welcome to another summary of common Family Law terms. At Nelson Law Group PC, we believe in educating our clients by breaking down even the most complex and intimidating law topics into bite-size pieces that are easy to understand.

While not an exhaustive list, what we hope is that some of the words and phrases below will become less foreign to you if and when you need us. If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you can find links to our previous 11 law terms posts if you crave even more information.

Vol. XIII Terms
Legally Binding

Used to describe the terms and legal ramifications of a signed contract between two or more parties. When a contract is signed, all parties are legally bound to following through with or completing the conditions set forth in the contract.

Breach Of Contract

If a person does not adhere to the terms and conditions of a contract they have signed, they are said to be in breach of contract. Intentionally or unintentionally breaching a contract is never a good thing and can lead to you being sued or having to pay monetary damages to the offended party.


In a legal setting, repudiation comes into play when someone has rejected or refused to perform a duty or obligation outlined in a legally-binding contract, and the other party is upset about it and has filed a lawsuit.

Protective Orders

A protective order usually comes into play in family violence and domestic abuse cases. Basically, someone (example: a spouse) believes their life is in danger, whether because of physical abuse, harassment, stalking, or some other threat. A protective order is issued for the protection of the victim, whether the violence has already happened or is likely to occur. Any violation of a protective order can result in civil and criminal consequences.

Restraining Orders

Restraining orders usually come into play during an existing court case such as a divorce proceeding. In this instance, a judge may put a restraining order on one or both parties to set limitations on certain actions. Restraining orders can be temporary or permanent.

Temporary Ex-Parte Order

A type of protective order. This is used when there is a clear and present danger of family violence. It can be granted without notice or a hearing and is valid up to 20 days.

Family Violence

Any abusive, violent, forceful act inflicted by one member of a family on another. Family violence can include grabbing, shoving, slapping, stabbing, throwing, choking, punching, breaking bones, assault with a weapon, sexual Abuse, and holding, restraining, or confining someone against their will. Can also include emotional abuse.

Quantum Meruit

When a person sues for money they believe they are owed for services rendered when there is an “implied” agreement between them and another party, a judge can settle the dispute using what is called Quantum Meruit. Think of it as a fair solution for when a person is owed money for services, but there is no legal contract to back it up.

Statute of Limitations

Limits how long you have to bring a claim against another person. If you wait too long to file a claim – which in the above case is 20 years – a judge has no choice but to throw the case out.

Temporary Jurisdiction

This can come into play if the child involved in the case is present in the same state the court is in and either the child has been abandoned, or the child, a sibling, or parent of the child is threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

Inconvenient Forum

Refers to a court’s decision to not preside over a particular case. Courts have the ability to refuse to make a final legal decision that directly impacts a case inside their jurisdiction if they believe another court will be a more convenient option.

Adult Adoption

Refers to the ability someone has to adopt an adult legally.

Inability To Care

A parent can opt to have the parent-child relationship severed if they believe they are unfit to care for a child because of their own physical or mental problems.


Refers to the formal language and terms used in the legal system that is often difficult for the layperson to understand.

Plea in Abatement

When a defendant does not dispute a plaintiff’s claims in a case but instead objects to its form or the time or place where it is asserted. The defendant is asking the court to consider these factors during the sentencing phase.

Here are individual links to our previous 12 terms lists: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5, Vol. 6Vol. 7, Vol. 8, Vol. 9, Vol. 10, Vol. 11, Vol. 12. Before filing your case, give us a call. Our friendly staff is here to help you. For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.

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