If you are in the midst of family law litigation, you should become acquainted with its intricate vocabulary and acronyms to help you through the process. Here are five verses you may wish to familiarize yourself with:

  1. CIS – This is an acronym for “Case Information Statement.” All litigants in contested family matters are required to complete a CIS form at the commencement of their litigation to inform the Court of financial and personal information. Please keep in mind that this form is not a “CSI” as many incorrectly identify the document. CSI is an acronym for “Crime Scene Investigation” and is a popular crime drama television series that airs on CBS.
  2. Date of Complaint – You should know the date the complaint for divorce was filed. This is an important date usually found stamped on the upper portion of the initial court-filed pleading (i.e. complaint for divorce). The date of the filing of the complaint is important for many reasons including tolling days for significant deadlines (such as the filing of the CIS) and is also used as the “cut-off” date in which litigants refer to when distributing certain assets.
  3. Divorce from Bed and Board – This type of divorce is controversial in New Jersey. Although litigants are economically divorced, the parties are theoretically still married to each other. Essentially, a divorce from bed and board is a legal proceeding somewhere in between a legal separation and an absolute divorce. Litigants may elect to have a divorce from bed and board for inheritance, pension or tax-filing reasons. However, the primary reason to obtain a divorce from bed and board in some cases is to enable the supported spouse to maintain the same health insurance coverage enjoyed throughout the marriage.
  4. ESP – This is a popular acronym which stands for “Early Settlement Panel.” ESP is a mandatory alternative dispute resolution event which will be scheduled in every contested divorce matter and even some post judgment matters. A Settlement Panel is composed of  volunteer panelists who will hear both sides and aim to help litigants settle their economic family law related issues. Some cases are finalized at ESP.
  5. Post Judgment Motion – Once spouses are divorced, they obtain a “Final Judgment of Divorce” signed by their judge complete with a gold seal of authenticity. In the event there are family related issues which happen to arise after the parties obtain a final divorce, said issues are considered post-judgment matters which can be resolved by way of a formal application to the Court. This does not mean, however, that parties are able to relitigate their marital issues as some incorrectly believe. Also keep in mind, a formal application, which can be made both during the divorce litigation and post judgment, is made by way of motion; not emotion.

Experiencing family law related litigation and feeling overwhelmed or confused? Speak to an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC to help you reach the goals you want. We are here to help with many experienced attorneys ready to litigate for your rights. Call us today at 908.879.9499 or check us out online at www.iandoliedens.com.