Summary of Common Family Law Terms (Vol. XII) – Welcome to another summary of common Family Law terms. At Nelson Law Group PC, we believe in educating our clients by breaking down even the most complex and intimidating law topics into bite-size pieces that are easy to understand.
While not an exhaustive list, what we hope is that some of the words and phrases below will become less foreign to you if and when you need us. If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you can find links to our previous 11 law terms posts if you crave even more information.
Vol. XII Terms
Any physical harm, threat of serious injury, emotional abuse, or neglect to a child. Child abuse can happen through both action and failure to act.
The act of leaving a child in a situation of substantial risk of physical or mental harm. There can be a myriad of scenarios where neglect is obvious, including leaving a child alone and having no intention of returning or not providing food, shelter, or seeking medical treatment for injury or sickness.
Actual care, control, & possession
A person claiming actual care, control, and possession of a child support the child financially, are involved in the child’s upbringing and provide daily care, seek medical care when needed, and can prove they had general authority to direct the child and have the power to make legal decisions.
This term refers to a person bound by a legal obligation. The obligated party in a case.
The person an obligated party is bound to.
Court-ordered payments to help care for and support a child.
In addition to child support, medical support pays for a child’s medical coverage, including the cost of health insurance ( examples: standard illnesses, routine pediatric and hospital visits, emergency room care, disability care).
Refers to the basic needs of a child covered by child support. This can be anything from food and shelter to school fees.
Adult disabled child
Refers to a child who has reached adulthood yet is unable to realistically care for and support themselves because of a mental disability or physical ailment.
As opposed to existing needs, future needs account for an increase in healthcare expenses to additional personal supervision.
Intentional unemployment or underemployment
Refers to when a person is qualified to be employed but chooses not to work or accepts a job making less money than before. Examples include quitting a job, being laid off or fired and not seeking a new job, working part-time when full-time options are available, or quitting a job and going to a different career making less money.
Refers to what a person could be making if they weren’t intentionally unemployed or underemployed. A court can analyze previous earnings to determine a person’s earnings potential when calculating child-support payments.
Refers to what a person actually makes in income. A court can use either earnings potential or actual earnings to calculate child-support obligations.
Friend of the court
An individual or entity who wishes to, or is appointed by a court, to provide legal information or action that can influence the outcome of a case. They are not a party in the suit, nor have they been solicited by a party in the suit. Their existence is merely to aid the court in delivering a just and right outcome.
When a trial court has complete and absolute power to take action or render a judgment on a particular issue without limitations, that court is said to have Plenary Power. A trial court’s over-arching power comes with a time limit.
Here are individual links to our previous 11 terms lists: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5, Vol. 6, Vol. 7, Vol. 8, Vol. 9, Vol. 10, Vol. 11. Before filing your case, give us a call. Our friendly staff is here to help you. For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.