Paralegal – A legal assistant to an attorney, usually certified by the state, who is trained in legal
research. Paralegals are not authorized to practice law,
Partner Support. When a couple separates or divorces, the court may order one domestic
partner to pay the other a certain amount of support money each month. This is called "partner
The judge will consider many things when deciding what partner support to order. Examples of
some things the judge may consider are:
Either domestic partner can later ask the judge to change the support amount if the situation
Paternity Establishment - The legal process by which the father of a child is legally determined.
Pendente Lite Support – A temporary order of the Court that provides support until the divorce is
finalized. See also, temporary order.
Perjury – The act of lying while under oath.
Petition – A written application for particular relief from the court. In California the complaint for
divorce is entitled “Petition for Dissolution” and is Form FL 100.
Petition For Custody And Support Of Minor Children - This action may be filed by married or
unmarried parents to obtain custody and support orders without filing a dissolution of
marriage/legal separation or nullity action, if the parents of the minor children are married, or
without filing an action to establish a parental relationship, if the parents of the minor children are
unmarried. This action is limited and can only be used in certain situations by a married or
unmarried parent. This action does not deal with property or marital status, if the parents are
married, or establish a parental relationship, if the parents are unmarried. To address these other
issues, the married parents would need to file an action requesting a dissolution of marriage/legal
separation or nullity action. Unmarried parents need to file an action to establish the parental
Petitioner – The person who filed the Petition.
Plan Administrator – The person who is identified in the plan document as having responsibility
for running the plan. It could be the employer, a committee of employees, a company executive, or
someone hired for that purpose.
Plan Document – A written instrument under which the plan is established and operated.
Plan Fiduciary – Anyone who exercises discretionary authority or discretionary control over
management or administration of the plan, exercises any authority or control over management or
disposition of plan assets, or gives investment advice for a fee or other compensation with respect
to assets of the plan.
Plan Trustee – Someone who has the exclusive authority and discretion to manage and control
the assets of the plan. The trustee can be subject to the direction of a named fiduciary and the
named fiduciary can appoint one or more investment managers for the plan’s assets.
Plan Year – A 12-month period designated by a retirement plan for calculating vesting and
distribution, among other things. The plan year can be the calendar year or an alternative period, e.
g., July 1 to June 30.
Positional Bargaining – Positional bargaining starts with the solution. One party proposes a
solution and the other party makes and offer. And then counteroffers are made until a resolution is
found that works for both parties.
Precedent – Decisions found in other pre-existing cases which factor into the case at hand.
Prenuptial Agreement – Prior to a marriage, partners contractually agree how assets and
liabilities will be divided in the event of a divorce.
Primary Caregiver – A factor in consideration of who should be the custodial parent; the person
who usually takes care of the children.
Privilege – The right of a spouse to make admissions to an attorney, clergyman, psychiatrist or
others as designated by state law that are not later admissible as evidence.
Profit-Sharing Plan – A profit-sharing plan allows the employer each year to determine how much
to contribute to the plan (out of profits or otherwise) in cash or employer stock. The plan contains a
formula for allocating the annual contribution among the participants.
Property – Property includes such assets as the family home, rental property, cars, boats and art
or antique collections. It can also include bank accounts, mutual funds, stocks and bonds, life
insurance cash value, IRAs, retirement plans, stock options, non-qualified deferred compensation
and a family owned business. As you can see, there is virtually no limit as to what is considered
Pro Per Divorce – A divorce wherein the divorcing partners represent themselves in court (with or
without a mutually agreeable separation agreement) without the assistance of attorneys.
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