Divorce Legal Lingo – It’s All Greek to Me!
If you are going through a divorce, you’ve heard an entirely new language. This divorce legal lingo comes from the rules of Texas Civil Procedure which dictate the “new language” that you have been forced to swallow. Divorce Legal Lingo – It’s all Greek to me and everyone else the first time it’s heard! So, your not alone in your confusion and exasperation. Not only is divorce devastating but the lingo drives clients crazy too! Hear are some words and their definitions in plain English:
1. Discovery – the word for a tool used during a legal case to find out as much information as possible about the other side’s position on the facts and issues such as what your spouse wants with respect to the children. How do you find out about ALL of your spouse’s bank accounts – your lawyer uses “discovery” tools and sends a “Request for Production of Documents” requesting bank statements.
2. Interrogatories – the fancy, legal word for “questions”. Simply put, your spouse’s attorney asks you questions and you must truthfully answer the question to the best of your knowledge because you will affirm or swear that your answer is the truth.
3. Pleadings – documents filed with the court. An “Original Petition for Divorce” is the first document or “pleading” that begins your case. Remember that when you ask for a divorce you are suing your spouse.
4. Service – when the constable or private process server hands paperwork to your spouse, your spouse is “served”. When your spouse hires an attorney or is represented already, the “service” goes to the attorney.
5. Waiver of Service – a legal document that tells the court you know you have been sued for divorce and you waive the necessity of a constable or process server giving you court documents. Instead, you receive the documents from your spouse or your spouse’s attorney.