Divorce Dictionary P

PARENTING CLASSES

organized classes designed to teach parents how to minimize the negative aspects of divorce on their children.

PARTY

a plaintiff or a defendant in a legal proceeding.

PATERNITY

the legal biological relationship between father and child.

PATERNITY

the legal biological relationship between father and child.

PERJURY

the act of lying under oath in court or in a sworn statement.

PERSONAL JURISDICTION

the power of the court to make orders regarding an individual and have them enforced.

PERSONAL PROPERTY

property that is not real estate.

PETITION

the title given to the first document filed in pursuit of a divorce.

PETITIONER

the person who initiates the divorce by filing the petition.

PHYSICAL CUSTODY

refers to the parent the child actually lives with. It may be sole or joint, depending upon the arrangements.

PLAINTIFF

the person who initiates the divorce by filing the petition.

PLEADING

a formal written application to the court which requests action by the court.

POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENT

a written contract between husband and wife that states all of their present and future rights in event that they divorce in the future.

PRAECIPE

an document asking the Clerk of Court to issue a summons on the opposing party.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

the portion at the end of the pleading which states the relief that is requested of the court.

PRECEDENT

something that has already happened that will influence how future similar events will be viewed by the court.

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT

a legal contract signed by two people before they get married. It typically involves limitations on a spouse's rights to property, support, and inheritance upon divorce.

PRESENT VALUE

the value of a future payment or series of future payments discounted to the current date or to time period zero.

PRIMARY CARETAKER

the parent who provides majority of the child's day to day care.

PRIVILEGE

the right a spouse has to make admissions to an attorney or counselor that can not be later used as evidence.