Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVII)
Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVII)

Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XVII)

At Nelson Law Group PC, we believe in educating our clients. Below is Vol. XVII of our common family law terms. While not a complete list, what we hope is that some of these words and phrases will become less foreign to you if and when you need us.

If you scroll to the bottom, you can find links to our previous 16 posts on common law terms.

Vol. XVII Terms


The act of something being ended, such as when spouses get divorced or when a business relationship is terminated.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is an alternative to divorce, though it is not recognized in Texas. Couples who choose this option have been granted a legal separation in the form of a court order, but are technically still married.


Used to describe when spouses reconcile their differences and choose to get back together after they’ve separated or initiated the divorce process.

Right to Inherit

The legal parents of a child have the right to inherit from their child under the Law of Descent and Distribution. This goes for birth parents, legal adoptive parents, and intended parents with a gestational agreement.


An example of a legal proceeding is a court case. It is the process of appearing before a court of law so that a legal decision can be made about an argument or claim.


A plaintiff is a legal name reserved for a person or group of people in a civil case who initiate a lawsuit in a court of law against an individual or business. It is the plaintiff who is seeking legal recourse, and if successful, a judge will rule in their favor. Petitioner and Complainant are alternative terms for plaintiff used in family law and criminal cases, respectively.


A defendant is the party in a civil or criminal case who has been accused or charged with committing an offense against the plaintiff. Just like it is the plaintiff’s job to prove their case, defendants must defend themselves against the formal accusations brought against them. Respondent is an alternative term for defendant used in family law cases.

Financial Affidavit

A sworn statement where parties in a case document all financial information, including income, bank accounts, assets, liabilities, and expenses.


A formal request by the parties involved in a court case or their lawyer that asks the judge to rule on or make an order on a specific issue.


A person who is financially or emotionally supported by another person. In most cases where the term dependent is used, it is referring to a child or spouse.


Another term for alimony or spousal support.

Consent Order

A court order that has been agreed to by all parties involved in the case.

Notice of Hearing

This is a legal document that requests the presence of all parties to hear a motion. The notice will also include the time and date for that hearing.


The relationship between divorced spouses who not only share the responsibility of caring for their children but must also work together and be positive in thoughts and actions.

Supervised Visitation

An arrangement where a parent who has been awarded visitation rights with their child, though it must be supervised by a friend or family member.

Here are individual links to our previous 14 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, Vol. 13, Vol. 14, Vol. 15, Vol. 16.

Call Nelson Law Group Today!!

Having a lawyer in your corner to answer any questions you have about the legal process is critical, and that’s what Nelson Law Group, PC is here to do for our clients.Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding the terms above or any specific legal issue you may be facing.

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