Divorce Dictionary C

CAPTION

the heading of a complaint, petition designating the names of the plaintiff and the defendant, the name of the court and the case number.

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

a written statement proving to the court that a copy of a certain document was mailed to the person for whom it was intended.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

a written statement proving to the court and completed by a process server that a copy of a document was served to the person for whom it was intended.

CERTIFIED COPY

a copy of the document contained in the court file. It includes a stamped seal confirming that the copy is indeed a true and correct copy of the document contained in the court file.

CHANGE OF VENUE

a change from the judge originally assigned to the case at the request of a party.

CHILD SUPPORT

the money the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to help pay for the needs of the child.

CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

Method of determining the dollar amount of child support to be paid.

CITATION

an order from a court requiring a court appearance.

CIVIL COURT

the court which presides over non-criminal cases.

CLAIM

the charge by one spouse against another.

CLEAR TITLE

Ownership of an asset without any encumbrances, obstructions or burdens that impede its ability to be transferred to a new owner.

COBRA

Federal Legislation which guarantees that all individuals who are covered by medical insurance have the right to continue coverage for a monthly fee if employment changes or marital status changes.

COHABITATION

two people living together.

COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE

a marriage in which no formal ceremony took place and no license exists.

COMMON-LAW PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION

the method of dividing property in a divorce according to who holds the title to the property.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY

all income or property that was acquired during the marriage, with exception to gifts or inheritances. Illinois is not a community property state.

COMPLAINT

the initial pleading filed for divorce with specific grounds stated.(see legal process section)

CONDONATION

when misconduct of a spouse is no longer grounds of divorce due to the act of forgiveness.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

when any professional is not capable of performing services due to previous relationships or present relationships and/or a situation where confidentiality can be broken.

CONTEMPT OF COURT

any deliberate failure to comply with the legal process, including the disruption of the court.

CONTESTED DIVORCE

a divorce where at least one issue has not been settled before court. The court must decide the issue or issues.

CONTINUANCE

Postponing a scheduled court hearing to a later time.

CONVEY

to transfer property from one person to another.

COUNT

a statement of facts that clearly defines the complaint.

COUNTER-CLAIM

a pleading filed by the defendant (respondent) against the plaintiff ( petitioner ).

COURT CLERK

the administrative personnel of the court who handles the filings for court procedures and answers questions concerning them.

COURT ORDER

a written document ordering a person to do something. It is issued by a court and signed by a judge.

COVERTURE

the period of time a women is married.

CREDITOR

a person to whom money is owed.

CROSS-EXAMINATION

the questioning of a witness of the opposing party in court or at a deposition. The purpose is to test the credibility or pursue advantageous answers.

CUSTODIAL PARENT

the parent a child normally lives with, and the one who makes legal decisions concerning the child. There are several different types of custody arrangements. (see child custody section)

CUSTODY

the legal right and responsibility to raise a minor child and to make decisions.

CUSTODY EVALUATION

a process during which a mental health professional appointed by the court evaluates a family and makes recommendations to the court on the proper custodial arrangements for the children.