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– Washington DC Family Law Dictionary


JOINDER – the adding of third parties to a legal action.

JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY – describes the liabilities of co-promisors of the same liability when each of them individually has the duty of making good the obligation.

JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY – a form of custody of minor children in which the parents share the responsibilities and major decision-making related to the child. (see child custody section).

JOINT PETITION – used when both parties want the same end of a court action.

JOINT PHYSICAL/RESIDENTIAL CUSTODY – a form of custody of minor children in which the parents share the actual physical custody of the child. (see child custody section in your state).

JOINT PROPERTY – property that is held in the name of more than one person.

JOINT TENANCY – a form of joint ownership in which each joint owner has an equal share.

JUDGMENT – the ruling or order of the court.

JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE – a formal written document that states that a couple are divorced. This is often prepared by an attorney and presented to the court for the Judge to sign. In some states and provinces, this is recognized a the Divorce Decree or Decree of Dissolution.

JURAT – the short clause at the close of an official paper indicating when, where, and before whom the document was sworn.

JURISDICTION – the power of the court to rule on issues related to the parties, their children and their property.

JURY TRIAL – a case that is argued before a jury who decide the facts and the merits of the claim.