Divorce Glossary: Understanding the Terms in Your Indiana Divorce

Indiana Divorce Glossary | Webster & Garino LLC

Table of Contents

Navigating divorce is an emotionally taxing and inherently challenging process fraught with confusing legal jargon and complexities. Understanding the language used in divorce proceedings is crucial for making informed decisions. This glossary provides clear explanations of essential terms you will encounter during your divorce from the courtroom to mediation, ultimately helping you communicate more effectively with your attorney and fully understand the process from start to finish.

Introduction to Legal Terms: What Do I Need to Know?

Divorce proceedings involve specific legal terminology that can often seem foreign to those not familiar with the field. Understanding legal divorce terms can help you better grasp the steps, requirements, and expectations of the process as you navigate through your divorce. This knowledge empowers you to actively participate in your proceedings to ensure your interests are adequately represented.

Why is a Divorce Glossary Important?

A divorce glossary is essential because it breaks down complex legal jargon into understandable layman’s language, which clarifies the process for uncertain individuals. This understanding is crucial in helping you make decisions that align with your best interests and those of your family. It can also reduce the emotional stress that often accompanies misunderstandings and confusion during legal discussions.

What Are Key Divorce Terms?


This term refers to the arrangement where both parents continue to share legal and practical responsibilities of raising their children post-divorce. Effective co-parenting requires communication, collaboration, and consistency across households.


The process of taking legal action; in the context of divorce, this means resolving disputes through the court system when parties cannot agree on terms.

Collaborative Law: 

A legal process that uses cooperative techniques and negotiations, with a mutual goal of reaching a settlement that benefits both parties. This method often involves other professionals, such as divorce coaches and child specialists.

Spousal Support: 

This term refers to financial payments made to support a spouse during or after a divorce, similar to maintenance but may include other financial responsibilities.


Often used interchangeably with “divorce,” dissolution legally ends a marriage under terms agreed upon by both parties.


Maintenance is financial support paid by one spouse to another during and sometimes after a divorce is final. 

Equitable Distribution: 

Unlike community property states, Indiana uses the equitable distribution approach to divide marital property, meaning assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally.

Parenting Time: 

Previously known as “visitation,” parenting time refers to the schedule agreed upon or ordered regarding when children will spend time with each parent.

Marital Pot: 

This term refers to the collective assets and debts acquired during the marriage, which are subject to division upon divorce.


A form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where a neutral third party helps the divorcing spouses find a mutually acceptable solution to their issues.

Provisional Hearing: 

A preliminary hearing in some divorce proceedings where temporary orders are made concerning custody, support, and other pertinent issues during the divorce process.

QDRO/Quadro (Qualified Domestic Relations Order):

A legal order following a divorce that splits and changes ownership of a retirement plan to give the divorced spouse their share of the asset.

Waiting Period: 

The required time between when a divorce petition is filed and when the court grants the divorce. In Indiana, this is 60 days.

Legal Divorce Terms: Understanding What Your Divorce Attorney is Saying

By understanding these terms, you can better comprehend the strategies your attorney may choose to employ in pursuit of your best interests as well as what they are discussing during negotiations or in court. This understanding can make the divorce process less intimidating and help you maintain control over your case’s ultimate direction.

Expert Estate Planning & Asset Protection | Webster & Garino LLC

Why Webster & Garino, LLC For Your Indiana Divorce Attorney

Choosing the right divorce attorney is critical. Webster & Garino LLC provides compassionate, knowledgeable, and strategic legal representation tailored to meet your personal needs and goals. Our experienced attorneys understand the nuances of Indiana divorce law and will guide you through every step of your divorce process with professionalism and respect. We’re committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients, ensuring that your rights are protected and your voice is heard.

In conclusion, having a solid grasp of divorce terminology can significantly impact the outcome of your divorce proceedings. At Webster & Garino, we empower our clients with the knowledge and support they need during this challenging time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your Indiana divorce.