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Glossary of Divorce Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Certificate of Service: Your verification that you sent the documents to your spouse in the manner specified.

Child Abandonment: A child can be considered abandoned when a parent has willfully abandoned the child for at least six consecutive months, or if the mother of the child was not living with the father at the time of birth, or was willfully abandoned by the father.

Child Custody: North Carolina custody laws require the court to award custody of a minor child to such person, agency, organization, or institution as will best promote the interests and welfare of the minor child. The court is not required to prove or find that one parent is unfit; therefore the minor child is placed in the best, most appropriate environment for the development of the child’s mental, physical, spiritual and moral faculties.

Child Support Guidelines (NC): Developed to determine the amount of support that a child is entitled to receive. Based on the day to day cost of living for the child, such as daycare, health insurance, and extraordinary expenses, and calculations of each parents income. Additionally, financial considerations are provided for other children that either of the parents may have.

Child Support: An agreement for the support of a minor child between the natural parents of the child, or a civil action for the support of a minor child.

Complaint for Divorce: This is the form that you file to start the divorce process. It is the lawsuit for divorce.

Criminal conversation: A civil lawsuit based on sexual intercourse between a spouse and the defendant, where the plaintiff is the other spouse. Criminal conversation is a “strict liability tort,: meaning that the defendant is responsible for the damages caused by his or her actions regardless of fault or intent.