Key Words

Child Support Money that one parent gives the other parent to help pay for the things that their children need.
Divorce A legal action two people take to end their marriage.
Joint Custody Joint custody can mean a number of different arrangements, including one in which the children live part of the time with one parent and part of the time with the other parent, but both parents help to make decisions about their children's.
Legal Custody How parents make major decisions about the child's health, education, and welfare. Can be joint (both parents have certain responsibilities) or sole (one parent has the responsibility alone).
Marriage A legal agreement that allows two people to live together in a legal union.
Mediation A process for resolving conflicts between people, using neutral professional help to find a solution that meets everyone's needs. When the mediator makes a recommendation for child custody or parenting time, the process will be called Child Custody Recommending Counseling.
Mediator A person who has been specially trained to act as a neutral third party in helping people resolve conflicts.
Parenting Plan A parenting plan describes how the parents will divide their responsibilities for taking care of their child. The plan may include a general or specific schedule of days, times, weekends, holidays, vacations, transportation, pick-up-drop-off, limits on travel, counseling, and treatment services, and other details.
Parenting Time/Visitation/Time-share The time children spend with the parent who does not have custody. Custody and parenting time can also include a parent's right to receive information about the children's health, education and welfare. Another word for parenting time that is sometimes used is visitation.
Physical Custody Where the child lives; can be joint or sole.
Separation When two people stop living together.
Sole Custody Can be physical and/or legal and refers to the situation where one parent has the responsibility for the child.
Separation Agreement A contract between two people who have separated, stating, among other things, where their children will live and how they will divide their property.