• VLP

Family Law Terms

Updated: Sep 11

Child Custody (Custody)

The court's determination of which parent or other adult should have legal and/or physical responsibility for a minor child.

Washington State only makes a determination of "custody" for the purposes of the State and Federal laws that require such a designation (See Residential parent and non-residential parent below). Typically "custody" is awarded to the parent the child spends more overnights with in a 2 week period.


Dissolution

Another term for divorce.


Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)

A person appointed by the court to represent the interest of a minor child/children or an adult who is unable to handle their own affairs in the case.


Maintenance Income

A sum of money paid to one party after a legal action to assist with living expenses.

After a divorce, one party may receive maintenance income from the other party if he or she was financially dependent on the spouse during the marriage.


Non-Parental Custody / Third Party Custody

The legal process where a party who is not a parent takes custody of a minor child/children.


Non-Parent Custodian

A third party (who may be related or may not be related to the child) the child lives with under court order.


Non-Residential Parent

The parent with whom the child is not spending the night.


Parenting Plan

A child-centered plan that sets out parenting time and decision-making authority for each parent.


Residential Parent

The parent with whom the child is currently spending the night.


Residential Schedule

A child-centered plan that sets out parenting time for each parent (or non-parent custodian). The Residential Schedule does NOT include a court order about decision-making authority.

238 views

© 2019 by VLP - Volunteer Lawyers Program