earnings withholding order- A legal procedure by which a portion of a spouse's wages are paid directly to the other spouse for alimony or child support. In some states, this is called an "earnings withholding order" or a "wage garnishment."
family home- The home in which the parent with physical custody resides with the children. Family homes are frequently treated differently than other marital property, with the judge allowing the custodial parent to remain in the home until the child reaches his or her majority.
imputed outcome- Income which a spouse does not actually receive, but which a judge will consider in making a support order. Typically, income is imputed to a spouse if he or she could find gainful employment but chooses not to.
income and expense declaration- A document filed with the court in a divorce proceeding that itemizes a party's monthly income and expenses. The document is used by the judge in awarding spousal and child support.
legal custody- The parent-child relationship in which the parent has the right to make decisions about the child's lifestyle (for example, what religion the child should be raised in or what school the child should attend).
non-custodial parent- The parent with whom a child does not reside. Generally, the non custodial parent will have visitation rights to see children who reside with the custodial parent.
payor spouse - The spouse who is ordered by the court to pay spousal or child support.
physical custody- The parent-child relationship in which the child actually resides with the parent. Compare Legal Custody, Joint Legal Custody, Joint Physical Custody.
spousal support order- A court order that one spouse pay money to the other spouse for his or her support either during the divorce proceeding or after the divorce has been granted.
support guidelines - Guidelines used by a judge to determine how much child and/or spousal support to award. Support guidelines will generally take into account the money earned by each spouse and, in the case of child support, the amount of time the child spends with each spouse.
UCCJA Common- name for the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, which sets out the law when more than one state is involved in a custody dispute.
visitation rights - Rights granted to the spouse who does not have physical custody of the child to spend specified periods of time with the child. Visitation rights are sometimes granted to other relatives, such as grandparents.
wage assignment - A legal procedure by which a portion of a spouse's wages are paid directly to the other spouse for alimony or child support. In some states, this is called an "earnings withholding order" or a "wage garnishment."
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