I realize that legal jargon can make most heads spin so here is a great page that provides a list of common legal terms and what they mean. Family Law Terms
Here is a short snippet from sectoin C
– C –
COLLUSION: an agreement between two or more persons that one of the parties brings false charges against the other. In a divorce case, the husband and wife may agree to use adultery as a ground in order to obtain a divorce more quickly, knowing full well that adultery was not committed. Collusion is illegal.
COMPLAINANT: the one who files the suit, same as “plaintiff.”
COMMON LAW MARRIAGE: a common law marriage comes about when a man and woman who are free to marry agree to live together as husband and wife without the formal ceremony. to be common law married, both spouses must have intended to be husband and wife. Maryland does not recognize common law marriages.
COMPLAINT: called a Bill of Complaint. the legal paper that starts a case.
CONDONATION: the act of forgiving one’s spouse who has committed an act of wrongdoing that would constitute a ground for divorce. Condonation generally is proven by living and cohabiting with the spouse after learning that the wrongdoing was committed. It often is used as a defense to a divorce.
CONTEMPT: failure to follow a court order. One side can request that the court determine that the other side is in contempt and punish him or her.
CORROBORATIVE WITNESS: a person who testifies for you and backs up your story. If you are asking the court to grant a divorce, you must bring to the hearing a witness who can corroborate your grounds for divorce.
CUSTODIAL PARENT: the spouse who has physical custody of the spouses’ child or children.
CUSTODY-SOLE & JOINT: refers to the legal arrangements for whom a child will live with and how decisions about the child will be made. Custody has two parts: legal and physical. Legal custody is the decision-making part: physical custody refers to where the child lives on a regular basis. Generally, the parent the child does not live with will be allowed to have regular visits with the child. Parents can make any custodial arrangement that is in the best interest of their children. The standard for custody is “best interest of the child”.