Divorce Jargon

I will never forget the look on a client’s face when I told him “We need to talk about ED.” I realized immediately that he did not know that, in our family law world, by saying ED, I meant Equitable Distribution. There are many terms that attorneys use as shorthand jargon. ED means how are you going to divide your marital assets and liabilities.

You might also hear that you have to pay for a “Q- DRO” or “Quadro” written as QDRO. Huh? It is a shorthand reference to Qualified Domestic Relations Order – an order that must be entered by the court before your employment retirement plan can be divided.

Then there is the shorthand jargon for how the children will share time with each parent when the parties have equal time with them. We sometimes refer to scheduling in numerical terms such as “5/5/2/2” or “2/2/3/3”. In the 5/5 plan one parent has every Monday and Tuesday with the children, the other parent has every Wednesday and Thursday, plus the weekends (Friday to Monday morning) are alternated. During the “2/2/3/3,” the parents alternate Mondays and Tuesdays, with Wednesdays and Thursdays and they continue to alternate the weekends. As a result, children are not away from either parent for more than three nights on a regular basis.

Finally, you might hear about the “20 -25% of the difference rule.” There is no such rule. In spite of the fact that alimony is determined in New Jersey based upon each family’s specific facts, some attorneys might still describe this as a down and dirty calculation of what the parameters of alimony might be.

These terms are all quick and easy ways to refer to sometimes very difficult decisions. The experienced attorneys at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP are here to help you not just to understand the jargon but to help you make decisions about ED, parenting plans, alimony and all of your other questions about family law.