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  • Writer's pictureClaire Edwards

What does that word mean!?

Vocabulary If you don't know the words listed in this section, it is absolutely worth it to read everything below.


information gathering- this is an early stage in the process; it is when you collect all the important documents, photographs, texts, etc., to help your attorney gain a better understanding of what's going on in your marriage/life.


first mediation session- the first session is when the mediator takes in all the information you have to offer; some mediators assume you've given them everything you've got, so it's important to show up prepared to the first session.


monitoring progress- while it seems counter-intuitive to many, there are no laws that require the court or lawyers to monitor your progress; it often falls on the client to regularly assess and evaluate what's changed from week to week; it's important to find an attorney who wants to set up goals, strategies, and plans for you and who helps hold you accountable to achieve your goals and stay on track in the process.


effective communication- active listening is the single most important element; another helpful way to have effective communication is to know what you want in your heart of hearts, deeply, and simply repeat that desire over and over until it's time to get a result.


negotiation skills- lawyers and those in the legal industry tend to be really well versed on listening, compromise, problem-solving, and persuasive communication; they tend to be ready to approach problems creatively and with an open mind; the more you prepare yourself to be around people who think like this and the more you start to improve your own communication, the better your results will be in the divorce process.


handling difficulties- the difficulties here are focused on communication ups and downs; sometimes a party isn't an active listener and does not acknowledge the opposing party's concerns; the more you prepare yourself to resolve these challenges the better your results will be


formation of divorce agreements- agreements mean two or more persons decide on the same thing; agreements are not made by a judge- the judgment is made by the judge based on hearing evidence and/or reading your agreement with your [soon to be ex-] spouse; effective communication is crucial to reach consensus (agreement) on things like custody, child support, spousal support, and property issues.


interim or temporary- interim means in the middle of something, so "interim spousal support" means it's for the transition from being married to being single; temporary means for a short period of time, so "temporary custody" means for as long as the custody order identifies (usually 120 days in Lafayette).


partial, final settlements- partial means only "part" of the whole is being dealt with; in Lafayette, there are NOT partial community property settlements; a final settlement is the last settlement of anything; because children are under age 18 for at least 18 years, there's never really a "final" settlement because we want to leave room for modification; for a community property settlement, yes, it will be a full and final settlement.


final divorce- if you hear someone refer to a "final divorce," they are referring to the "signed judgment of divorce," and if you hear someone ask for the "divorce date," they are asking on what day did the judge sign the final divorce.


unmarried couples- these are people who may have children together but have been divorced for a while or were never married; those who are unmarried without children may have claims for spousal support or community property.


post-divorce issues- effective communication is so important even and especially after the court portion is complete


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