annulment- A legal proceeding in which the judge declares a marriage void - i.e., that the marital status never existed. Annulment is different from divorce in that a divorce ends a valid marriage. answer A document filed in court by the defendant in response to the creditor's "complaint." ante nuptial agreement A written agreement made by people who intend to get married, in which property rights, support rights, and other rights and obligations are set out. An ante nuptial agreement is sometimes referred to as a "prenuptial" or "premarital" agreement.
apportionment- The process of deciding how much of the property acquired by the husband and wife is owned by them together, and how much is owned by only one of them. Apportionment is necessary when both marital and non-marital assets are used to buy property during the marriage.
domestic partnership- A status created by some state or local governments that gives unmarried couples who comply with the necessary requirements some of the same benefits available to married couples - such as insurance coverage, visitation rights in hospitals or jails, and bereavement leave if a partner dies.
marriage- The legal relationship of a man and a woman as husband and wife. At this time, no state allows same sex couples to marry.
post marital agreement - An agreement between a husband and wife made during the marriage dealing with issues of property, support, and other matters. Sometimes called a "post-nuptial" agreement.
premarital agreement - Another term for "antenuptial" agreement.
premarital debts - Debts incurred by a spouse before marriage.
reimbursement- The right of a spouse who has contributed separate property to help buy marital property to be reimbursed the amount contributed. relative petition An application submitted to the INS to establish a person's qualification as a relative of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. release A "release" of claims is a written document, signed by an employee that gives up legal claims the employee may have against the employer. An employee might be required to sign a release of claims in exchange for a severance package.
solemnization- In family law, the performance of some formal act or ceremony by which a man and woman marry and become husband and wife.
tenancy by the eternity- A form of joint tenancy, available only to married couples, by which the death of one spouse causes that spouse's interest in the property to be transferred automatically to the surviving spouse.
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