Divorce Dictionary S

SANCTIONS

court-ordered punishment.

SEPARATE MAINTENANCE

an action filed for support between two spouses not living together even though the spouse's are not actively seeking a divorce.

SEPARATE PROPERTY

property considered to be owned by one spouse prior to marriage, which in most states in not up for distribution upon divorce.

SEPARATION AGREEMENT

an agreement on support, child care and property covering the period before divorce but after separation.

SERVICE OF PROCESS

the act of presenting the complaint or summons to the defendant or respondent.

SOLE CUSTODY

a form of custody in which one parent is awarded both physical and legal custody.

SPLIT CUSTODY

a form of custody in which the actual time of physical custody is split between both parents.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

money paid from one spouse to the other in one lump sum or in installments for a period of time.

STIPULATION

an agreement between the parties or their counsel.

SUBPOENA

a document that requires a person who is not directly involved in the action to provide testimony.

SUMMONS

a written notification to the defendant or respondent that an action has been filed against him or her.